With the departure of Derby Bear, the yearling population at ABR is back to 26, which is more bears than we have had at this time of the year since 2012.  As we have explained before, the reason for the large number of orphaned bears being cared for at ABR is the woefully low acorn supply in the wild here in East Tennessee.  In 2014 there were just four bears that needed our help.  That was a year when acorns were plentiful and cubs were able to stay with their mothers through the year, hibernating together and staying with their mothers until the usual family breakup in the spring.   Although we are sorry that life was so hard this year, we are glad that we have been able to help so many orphans.  Today we have some new photos of several of the yearlings who are still with us.

Cedar Bear came to us in November suffering from injuries including a head wound.  The UT vets prescribed quiet and rest, and he spent several weeks in the pen in the Cub Garage.  In January Cedar was released into an Acclimation Pen and in February he made it to Wild Enclosure #4.  Look at Cedar Bear now!


Cedar Bear is healthy. There is no trace of the head wound, and he behaves normally.

Another bear in Wild Enclosure #4 with Cedar is Alonzo.


Alonzo Bear is comfortable in trees.

Cornelius Bear is residing in Wild Enclosure #4 also.


Cornelius is in a position that only a bear would find comfortable.

Looking into Wild Enclosure #2, the enclosure that housed Derby Bear before his release, we find healthy yearlings.


Tedford Bear is the longest resident, having arrived in mid-October.

Tedford Bear will very likely be released soon.  He is ready to resume his life in the wild.  Here we see him sharing a tree with Pumpkin Bear.

Tedford and Pumpkin

Tedford and Pumpkin Bear are at home in the trees in their enclosure.

Chestnut and Acorn

Two more of the bears in Wild Enclosure #2 are Chestnut and Acorn Bear.

Although the yearlings are not playing as much as the cubs did last summer, there is an occasional wrestling match.  Pumpkin and Gamble Bear “got into it” over something that only they are aware of.  The wrestling lasted a very short time, and was carried out in silence.  Here is a photo of the two bears after the altercation ended.

Pumpkin and Gamble

Pumpkin and Gamble Bear have made up, or so it seems.

We move over to Wild Enclosure #1 where one of the yearlings is Otis Bear.

Otis Bear

Otis Bear has grown since his arrival in January.

Milo Bear was very sick and had to return to UTCVM twice to correct problems related to his ingestion of trash during his time in the wild when he was desperately searching for food.  He has been in Wild Enclosure #3 since mid-January.


Milo Bear is doing very well now.

Julius Bear

Julius Bear, our most recent arrival, will be in a Wild Enclosure very soon.

The yearlings in Wild Enclosure #2 will no doubt be released as soon as all the details can be worked out.  They seem to be ready to resume their lives in the wild, as Herbie and Derby have done.