In our last post we showed the open door between The Cub House and the Acclimation Pen.  Summitt Bear peeked out but stayed put in the safety of The Cub House.  We predicted that it wouldn’t be long before he would venture out into the Acclimation Pen where he would be able to see, hear and smell the Wild Enclosure.  Sure enough, he did just that, finding new climbing opportunities to try out.

He had enjoyed the climbing shelf inside; now he has a climbing shelf in the pen and he is taking advantage of it.


Summitt Bear on his outdoor climbing shelf in the Acclimation Pen.


The shelf outdoors is much larger than the indoor platform.

So that you can more easily picture the setup, here is a view from above that shows the two rooms of The Cub House (before they were roofed) and the Acclimation Pen where Summitt is.  He still has access to the indoor space, but since he’s a bear the chances are he’ll stay outside most of the time now.

View of Cub House and Acclimation Pen

Here is the view from above.

Finally, we have a special photo to share.  Our Head Curator, Coy Blair, is doing research on the bears that were released last year.  He received the Phi Kappa Phi Featured Graduate Student Award for his research. He and his research partner, fellow grad student Jessica Giacomini presented their program documenting the behavior of bears during and after the Gatlinburg fires last year.  Here they are, presenting their research.

Coy and Jessica

Coy and Jessica presenting their research.

We are very proud of Coy’s achievement and of his dedication to learning more about bears, particularly about the ABR bears and how they get along after being released.