ABR Bear #246 (Hazel Bear) was the latest arrival, coming just five days ago.  You may remember that she was very malnourished and underweight – she weighed just 12 pounds, the normal weight for a 4-month-old cub.  Hazel Bear is a yearling, and should weigh at least four times that much.  She has been housed in a pen since her arrival, but today she let Curator Greg know that she wanted out!  Yearlings like Hazel, who have spent their lives in the wild until now, do not like to be confined, even if they are given good food to eat.  They become stressed by captivity and the curators feel that it’s much better for their health and growth (to say nothing of their emotional well-being) to release them into a Wild Enclosure, where there are trees to climb and a natural environment.  So it was that Curator Greg opened the door between the pen and the Wild Enclosure.  Look what happened next.

Hazel comes out

Hazel wasted no time before entering the Wild Enclosure.

Hazel explores

Hazel took off to explore her new digs.

Typical of a yearling bear, Hazel has long legs.  But her body is still as small as a cub less than half her age.  She looks like she is on a mission and is moving fast.

Hazel and tree

Not surprisingly, Hazel finds a tree to hold onto for security.

Hazel and tree

She hangs onto the tree as she looks around.

Her body is very thin, but her head is the size of a yearling’s head.  We are sure the body will catch up to the legs and head size before long.

Hazel and tree

Standing on the logs gives her a slightly better view.

She decides that there is no threat, and lets go of the tree.


Hazel will put on weight quickly.

Hazel Bear is in Wild Enclosure #3 with Milo, Zellie, Star, Snowflake, Otis and Joy.  It will be interesting to watch how they all get along together.