The “first wave” cubs at ABR (the cubs who came to us during the summer) are nice and plump – real “chubby cubbies.”  They are slowing down, typical for bears that are reaching the end of their active period and instinctively know their weight is sufficient for them to survive the winter.  These cubs are still eating, but at a more relaxed, slower pace.  They are taking more frequent naps, often on the ground.  Their play and rough-housing sessions are much less frequent.  They are showing that they are thinking about denning, and these cubs will be released soon into the wild, where they will find dens of their own.

dugout in log pile

A dugout in the log pile makes a den.

Here is a closeup of the log pile “den.”

closeup

Closer look shows that it is a good start to constructing a den.

Sometimes the cubs simply rake the ground to make a daybed.

daybed

Here is a simple, cleared daybed.

Here is another daybed.

daybed

A cleared daybed by a tree.

And here is the daybed above, this time being used by Ellis Bear.  He looks comfortable.

Ellis

Ellis naps in the daybed.

It’s easy to see that these larger cubs are preparing themselves for denning.  They will get their chance soon.