Yearling Sweetie Bear has been in the Acclimation Pen for Wild Enclosure #3 (Hartley’s domain) since she left the Red Roof Recovery Center. She was showing that she wanted more room – she wanted to go out! So Curator David obliged. He lifted the gate remotely and waited. Sweetie stayed put on the platform. David got out the hose and got ready to clean the Acclimation Pen, starting to spray the platform where Sweetie was sitting. Guess what happened?

Curator David started to hose off the platform.

Sweetie Bear hustled down the log to avoid the spray.

She headed for the open gate.

Out she went into the Wild Enclosure.

Suddenly she was in a new, larger space! What next?

What should she do now? There are so many choices!

Her first choice was to head to Milo’s stump. This photo was captured by Ken LaValley, ABR photographer of record.

Meanwhile, what about Hartley Bear? He knew Sweetie by scent, but they had never met. His reaction was typical of a yearling.

Hartley stretched, showing excellent yoga form.

Hartley clacked and huffed at the newcomer.


Ken LaValley took this portrait of Hartley Bear. He’s looking much better!
Then he retreated. The best thing for a yearling to do when uncertain.

Later, Hartley went to check on his favorite daybed.

He could tell (by scent) that Sweetie had been there, so he left.

Sure enough, Sweetie had visited the daybed. She seemed unimpressed.

As far as we know, the two yearlings have not met. When they do, it will be interesting to see the reactions of each. Yearlings are generally solitary and not playful like the cubs. So they may keep to their own spaces and not interact. We’ll see.