We know – it’s been a while since we posted to this blog.  ABR still is void of bears and this is a very good thing.  It means the wild bears (including the ones we released last year) are getting along all right.  By now, even bears here in the southern part of the Appalachian mountains, are likely settled in their dens.  We’re quite sure that the yearlings released in 2016 have found dens for themselves.

We thought we’d remind you of some of the yearlings that ABR was caring for last year in January.  There were many.  We have chosen to feature four of them in this post.

Bear #230, nicknamed Acorn, had been admitted in late November at the age of 10 months.  She had a leg wound and spent a few days in The Cub House before being released into the Wild Enclosure.  When Acorn was released back into the wild in April 2016 she weighed 69.5 pounds, having more than doubled her weight while at ABR!


Acorn Bear in a tree in her Wild Enclosure in January 2016.

Bear #232, nicknamed Herbie Bear, was admitted in December 2015.  He was one of the earliest malnourished cubs, weighing much less than an eleven-month-old cub should weigh.  As the season wore on, we were admitting smaller and smaller yearling bears and the full impact of the mast failure became clear.  Herbie was able to go directly into an Acclimation Pen, then into the Wild Enclosure, and was released back into the wild in late February 2016.


January 2016 – Herbie Bear in the Wild Enclosure.

Bear #235 (Zellie Bear) was rescued just before Christmas 2015.  She was very underweight at just 10.6 pounds.  Zellie spent five days in The Cub House to start gaining weight under the watchful eyes of our curators.  In early January she was released into a Wild Enclosure where she thrived.  Zellie Bear was released back into the wild in April, weighing 60 pounds!


Zellie climbed a tree immediately on her release into the Wild Enclosure.

Bear #239, nicknamed Snowflake Bear, arrived on January 8, 2016 weighing just 8.5 pounds.  As a yearling, she weighed what a normal three-month-old cub might weigh.  Because of her fragile state she was housed in the Cub Nursery for a few days so she could be fed every 3-4 hours around the clock.  When she was stronger she was moved into an Acclimation Pen and within two weeks from her arrival she was out in the Wild Enclosure.  Snowflake Bear weighed 54 pounds when she was released into the wild in April.


Tiny Snowflake Bear gained strength in the Acclimation Pen in January 2016.

We are grateful that the mast crops were bountiful this year.  We actually received more acorn donations than we could use, and were glad to share some of them with the Knoxville Zoo.

Volunteers and Board members have helped the curators with projects to have the facility ready to accept needy cubs that may come our way in the spring.