On April 11th ABR admitted Cub #259, Otto Bear.  Unlike our yearling Summitt Bear, Otto Bear is a Spring Cub, meaning he was born in late January 2017.  Curator Coy took the tiny cub to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for his first exam.


Otto Bear having his first medical appointment at UTCVM.


He was weighed and is a satisfactory weight for a three-month-old cub at 4.1 pounds.

Black bear cubs weigh less than a pound at birth, but they grow rapidly on a sow’s rich milk.  Usually they weigh four to eight pounds when they emerge from the den with their mother.  Otto had been watched for a day, so it is a certainty that he had not eaten for at least that long.

After the exam, Coy returned Otto to ABR and the Cub Nursery.

Otto laps milk

As Coy placed Otto in the pen, he showed he was able to lap formula from a bowl.

This was good news to Coy, meaning that bottle feeding would not be necessary, and the cub would not need human interaction to eat.  Being so young he still requires feeding every four hours day and night.

Meanwhile, take another look at 14-month-old Summitt Bear to see the difference a year makes in the size of a bear!


Summitt Bear looks like a grown up bear when compared with Otto.

It is amazing how rapidly a bear cub grows.  When seen in the wild, Summitt would be called “a cub” by the average observer.  But he is much larger than little Otto.