For black bear cubs and yearlings, trees are extraordinarily important.  In the wild, sows will send their cubs up a tree to wait while Mom goes off to forage.  She must keep up her strength and nutrition in order to continue to produce the milk her offspring need.  In essence, the tree becomes a “daycare center” where the little bears will patiently wait for her to return.  Sometimes they spend hours (even overnight) in a tree before the mother comes back to call them down.  This is why we strongly advise people who see a cub in a tree alone not to assume the cub is an orphan.

For the orphaned yearlings at ABR the trees in the Wild Enclosure are where they spend most of their time when they aren’t eating.  Today we have some photos to share of three ABR yearlings in their trees.

Alonzo - skipper

Alonzo and Skipper Bear sharing a tree.


Alonzo and Skipper are quite close to each other.

The often-elusive Wily Bear was front and center for the photo shoot.  The curator got several shots of him in his tree that he was not sharing with another yearling.


Wily climbed up into his chosen tree.


Wily settled himself in the tree.



He shifted his position on the limb.

In this next picture we can see that his belly has gotten larger – he’s eating well





Ah! This is it – just perfect for a nap.

Eat, rest and sleep – that’s the life of our yearling bears!  Not a bad life, we’d say!