On December 21, 2018, our two Kentucky bear cubs, Viola and Piccola returned to “their old Kentucky home” with their release back into the wild. There are three parts to this story – first a review of Viola’s experiences at ABR; next Piccola’s life here; finally the workups and release of both cubs.

Viola arrived as a 3-month-old cub weighing just 4.4 pounds in early May. Her UTCVM exam revealed that she had been bitten on the neck by an animal. She had to be shaved and repairs made to her neck.

Viola’s neck injury is repaired at UT.
After a short time in the Cub Nursery Viola showed that she could climb!
Viola’s next stop was the Cub House.
From the Cub House, she went into the Acclimation Pen to meet Clementine. Her shaved neck was obvious.

Viola really enjoyed the swingy ball in the pen. She rode on it.
Viola entered the Wild Enclosure feet first.
Viola was becoming a beautiful cub.
Viola was smaller than the other cubs in her group of three.
She enjoyed swimming in the Cubby Pool during the summer.
She also spent time climbing trees with her friends.
Viola had distinctive, squared-off ears.
After the death of Clementine, Bosco, Viola and Willow became the trio. The trio foraged and ate together. They were eating a lot.
Viola was growing. She liked to recline.
Viola became a big little bear.
Her last day in the Wild Enclosure. She was ready to go home.


With so many photos to post, we will review Piccola’s ABR life next, and then finish with the actual workups and release. Stay tuned.