Our two most recent arrivals, Cub #242 (Star Bear) and 243 (Joy Bear) have been released into Wild Enclosure 3, where the smallest cubs (oops – yearlings) are residing.  They finished their medication and showed the curators that they are strong enough to climb, so it was decided that there was no need for further confinement.  As yearlings that have spent their entire lives in the wild, being confined to a cage is stressful.

Here are scenes of Joy Bear and her release into the Wild Enclosure.

Joy Bear

Joy Bear takes her first step out into the Wild Enclosure.

When Joy Bear arrived a week ago, she weighed just 11 pounds.  After a week of good eating, she weighed 19 pounds!

Joy explores

She sets out to explore the new space.

It was interesting that she explored rather than immediately climbing a tree.  As you can see, the snow has melted although the temperatures remain cold.  Perfect for bears!

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Joy Bear shows interest in this culvert den.

Joy climbs

 She climbs up on the den.

Joy explores

Joy Bear continues to explore the Wild Enclosure.

Star Bear was next to enter the Wild Enclosure.  Star weighed 18.1 pounds when she arrived on January 18.  The curators were unable to weigh her again now, but they estimate her weight at about 28 pounds.  Both of these little bears have put on a good amount of weight since they arrived.

Star

Star Bear sees the open door.

It didn’t take her any time at all to venture out into the enclosure.

Star

Star finds a tree, but doesn’t climb it right away.  In this photo we can see her white blaze.

Star

Star goes off to explore, as Joy did. She finds something interesting. Maybe it’s edible!

It appears that these two little bears will do well in their Wild Enclosure.  It will be interesting to see how the others (Milo, Zellie and Snowflake) react to their new enclosure- mates.