As you know, there are currently 25 yearling (one-year-old) bears and one 2-month-old bear cub residing at ABR.  The yearlings are all in outdoor Wild Enclosures,practicing their bear skills to be ready for their releases.  The little cub is housed in the Cub Nursery, to receive the bear milk replacement formula he needs.  Today we have a few photos that highlight the difference a year can make in the life of a black bear.

First, here are some yearlings.


A “buffalo” yearling, so called because the winter coat of fur on its back resembles a buffalo or bison.

The yearlings, like all bears, grew warm winter coats that are often lighter in color than the bear’s normal coat.  We can see the normal color on this yearling’s face and front legs.  After the winter coat is shed, the bear will be the color of its face.and legs.


Another yearling is seen through the fence. This, too, is a “buffalo” yearling.

The larger yearlings are often seen on the ground, relaxing in the sunshine.  They are hidden, but don’t seem to be concerned about being more vulnerable on the ground.

Chestnut and Tedford

Chestnut and Tedford Bear rest on the ground.

And then there is little Finnegan Bear, our 2-month-old cub.  He is in the Cub Nursery.  Like babies of every species he does a lot of napping.  His schedule is eat-nap-eat-nap throughout the day and night.  Here we see him resting among his stuffed bear companions.

Finnegan and toys

Can you pick out the real bear cub in this photo?

You have to look carefully to find Finnegan.  He and the stuffed bears are close to the same size.