We have written about Otto and how he works out by “fighting” his stuffed buddies.  The only photo we have today is a downward shot into his pen in the Cub Nursery, showing Otto Bear and his two vanquished stuffed toys.  He has successfully subdued both Charley Bear and Sister Bunny, although we’re sure they will need to be subdued again before long.  If he were still with his family he would very likely have one or more siblings with whom to wrestle, or he would wrestle with his mother.  Since he doesn’t have his bear family to play with the curators supply stuffed animals as substitutes.

The very interesting thing about little bear cubs and stuffed buddies is that the buddies last to play with another cub.  We have seen cubs who play vigorously but overall are gentle and do not cause any harm to the stuffed toys.  Considering how the average dog rips up his toys, we find it quite amazing that little bears, equipped with very sharp, non-retractable claws, do not tear up the stuffed animals.


Otto Bear in his pen, showing the subdued stuffed toys.

We can see that the cub is growing – at first, he was noticeably smaller than the stuffies, but now he is about the same size.  The wrestling and playing are activities that help him to strengthen his muscles and improve his coordination.