The Wild Enclosures at ABR are designed to be very secure.  Usually, they perform as expected and our furry residents stay safely within their enclosure as they practice being bears.  However, once upon a time there were two sisters who, aided by Mother Nature and a tree that fell during a windstorm, made their escape from Wild Enclosure #4.  Perhaps you remember them.

Brought into ABR after their mother was killed in traffic, Cubs #233 (Cindy Lou) and #234 (Belle) arrived on December 10, 2015.  They were healthy and of satisfactory weights, so after a few hours in an Acclimation Pen they were released into the Wild Enclosure.  They immediately started to explore.


Cindy Lou and her sister Belle explored their enclosure in the early morning.

Within a few days, the sisters were comfortable in their new habitat.  They spent all of their time up in the trees.

Cindy and Belle

Cindy Lou and Belle Bear stayed up in the trees.  They were always close together.

They had been our “guests” for just a month when a windstorm uprooted a tree in their enclosure.  Although the curators thought the two yearlings were sleeping and showing signs of being ready to hibernate, Cindy Lou and Belle were not so sleepy that they didn’t notice the bridge to their freedom.

Tree fell

A tree fell over the fence, creating a bridge for two bears to cross.

There was no trace of them the next day, other than some fur that had caught on the fencing.

Fur caught on fence

A tuft of fur told the curator that the two young bears had made their escape!

Fortunately the healthy youngsters were scheduled for release soon, anyway.  They just didn’t have to go through the release process.  More proof of the intelligence and cleverness of bears!  We hope that they have fared well since they left us.  Since ABR is smack in the middle of bear country we are sure that they are doing just fine!


ABR is in the middle of bear country.

Cindy Lou and Belle could be most anywhere in the surrounding forest and mountains.