Just a few days  ago, on July 22nd, our little bears passed a milestone in their young lives.  For the cubs, Viola, Willow and Bosco it was their six-month birthday. For yearlings Magnolia and Bumble B. Bear, it was their eighteen-month birthday.  ABR celebrates the birthdays of our bears on the 22nd of each month.  We have arbitrarily designated January 22nd as the official birthday because it falls in the middle of the possible range of birth dates for bear cubs. Ken La Valley, our photographer of record, came by and was able to catch each of the bears.  We think these portraits are stunning!

37793901_2076503809028867_3229343634499305472_n_07-26_viola-platform

Viola Bear was sitting on the platform.

37815604_2076504005695514_3846271551485771776_n_07-26_willow-sleeps

Willow Bear was sleeping, apparently oblivious to the important day.

37861596_2076504892362092_2436587942622265344_n_07-26_bosco-up-tree

Bosco Bear heard a loud noise (a helicopter) and scurried up a tree.

37835213_2076504279028820_7731095408025272320_n_07-26_magnolia-tree

Magnolia heard the sound and went up her tree.

37800721_2076504882362093_1738409797130125312_n_07-26_bumble

Bumble B. Bear hunkered down in foliage.

Here we contrast and compare the images of the two yearlings.  Magnolia is a Louisiana black bear, a subspecies of the American black bear.  Notice that her head is narrower and her snout a bit longer than Bumble’s.

37772677_2076503912362190_4295948545703280640_n_07-26_magnolia-bumble-contrasted

The differences in appearance are subtle, but can be detected.

Each and every month in the life of a cub or yearling bear is a reason for celebration.  In any given year, only about half of the cubs born will reach their first birthday.  We celebrate these milestones for our bears.