When the curators or Ken LaValley take photos of the cubs with a zoom lens, it seems that they are really big bears.  But when you look at them next to an object like a tree, you can see that they are still pretty small.  Of course there are size differences between the cubs.  Adult female bears average about two-thirds the weight/size of adult males, and some of these gender differences are already beginning to become apparent.  There is also the fact that individual bears have genetic differences that can result in larger or smaller sizes.  Finally, if you were to see wild cubs of the same age you would notice that the ABR cubs are significantly larger because of the highly nutritious food that our curators provide.  We want the cubs to have enough weight when they are released into the wild that they can survive even if it takes them a while to become adjusted to foraging in their new habitat.

Here is a photo of one of our chubby cubs.  Remember, this cub is not really as large as it appears.

chubby cub

A cub’s chubbiness.

A chubby cub drinking from the pool.

drinking cub

This cub looks chubby, too.

Here are three cubs by a tree.  Seen next to the tree, they don’t seem quite as large.

Summer, Juliette, Pansy

Summer, Juliette and Pansy by a tree in the Wild Enclosure.

It’s interesting to see how fast bear cubs grow!