We have been reminiscing about past cubs since ABR doesn’t have any current cubs in residence.  Today we start with a double picture – of cubs Ham and Sissy Bear.  They were orphaned when their mother was shot before she had emerged from her den with the two tiny cubs.  Ham, so named because as a tiny cub he was a real “ham,” often acting rather silly, and his sister, simply called “Sissy,” were cared for at ABR in 2011.  They were rescued in early April and released in November.  Less than five pounds at rescue, they gained incredible amounts of weight and were 91 pounds (Sissy) and 142 pounds (Ham) at release!

Ham and Sissy

Siblings Ham and Sissy were the subjects of two of ABR’s best-loved cub photos.

Marvin Bear came to ABR in April 2015.  He was a problem to the curators at first, as he rejected the formula that they tried to give him.  Yogurt proved to be an acceptable substitute, and Marvin loved applesauce and grapes.  It was difficult to get him settled in with the two sibling cubs, Bonnie Blue and Ridgeway, who were already in residence but eventually they became friends during their time in the Acclimation Pen.  Much to the surprise of everyone, when the three cubs were released into the Wild Enclosure, it was Marvin who led the way, being the first to climb the trees in the enclosure.


Marvin Bear was a good climber. He taught Bonnie Blue and Ridgeway.

Violet Bear was a 2011 cub.  She arrived in June of that year and was released the next spring.  Violet’s picture, sketched by Townsend artist Lois Alexander, is on the label of the Cades Cove Cellars Blackberry Wine.  The Townsend winery was established in 2012 and they decided to give $1 to ABR for each bottle sold.  Thanks to this generous program, ABR has received several thousand dollars from Cades Cove Cellars in support of our work.  This photo of Violet Bear is the one Lois used as her model for the sketch.


Violet Bear’s picture is on bottles of Blackberry Wine from Cades Cove Cellars.

We are not likely to receive any needy cubs until April 2017 or later.  In the meantime, we will continue to recall cubs from years past.  Hope you enjoy these.