ABR welcomed a new Assistant Curator to our team.  With 19 cubs onsite, and the possibility that we may get even more, we needed another trained curator to help Coy during the week (especially since Coy is taking classes at UT for his Master’s degree).  Greg Grieco has graduated from UT, himself, and has worked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as an intern under Bill Stiver.  He comes highly recommended and will be on the job at ABR for the next four months.  Here he is, on his first day at ABR.  As a UT football player, he developed the throwing arm he needs to deliver the food to the cubs in the enclosures.

Greg Grieco

Greg Grieco, new Assistant Curator at ABR.

It was a day for moving cubs.  First, Zellie Bear, who had been in the Acclimation Pen for Wild Enclosure 3, was released into the Wild Enclosure.  It was easy – Greg lifted the door remotely, and Zellie ran out.  Much to everyone’s surprise, she did not climb a tree immediately.  Instead, she checked out the culvert den.


Zellie checked out one of the culvert dens.


Zellie did a thorough inspection of the den.

After her den inspection, she did do the more typical thing – she climbed up a tree in the enclosure.

Zellie climbs

Zellie climbs up a tree.

Zellie on tree

She paused to look around.


Her climbing skills are very good.

Being a hungry little bear, she came down from the tree to forage for food.

Zellie forages

Zellie forages.

Zellie Bear wasn’t the only one to be released into Wild Enclosure 3.  Happy Bear had been in The Cub House, but was ready to go into the Wild Enclosure.  He was moved into the Acclimation Pen recently vacated by Zellie; the door was lifted for him and he wasted no time in running out.


Happy ran into the Wild Enclosure.


He went to the base of a large tree.


Happy contemplated climbing this tree.

It is obvious that this little bear has some growing to do – his legs are long and gangly, like those of a yearling.  His body needs to catch up, and that will happen as he eats the good food in the Wild Enclosure.

The third tiny cub, Milo Bear, let the curators know that he wanted to be out of the Cub Nursery!  They obliged, and Milo is now in The Cub House.  When he is finished with his meds and shows that he can climb with ease, he will join Zellie and Happy Bear in Wild Enclosure 3.