All of the bears at ABR are doing well. Hartley Bear, the yearling from Kentucky, is nearing the end of his stay. He is very healthy and has gained weight (to say nothing of gaining a beautiful fur coat to replace his naked and scraggly look when he arrived). As soon as the KY wildlife officers feel that there will be natural foods available in the wild, they will come and transport Hartley back to his home state. The ABR photographer of record, Ken LaValley, took this portrait of Handsome Hartley.

Handsome Hartley Bear. He looks great!

The clue to the fact that his release time is near is the opening of Acclimation Pen #3, adjacent to the Wild Enclosure in which Hartley and the two female yearlings (Sweetie and Daffodil) are residing. Sure enough, the open gate invited Hartley and Sweetie to visit during the night.

Bears are curious. They probably wondered why the Acclimation Pen was open.

Daffodil Bear, on the other hand, was sleeping on the platform.

Daffodil was sleeping and paid no attention to the open Acclimation Pen.

Iris Bear slept on the platform in her own Acclimation Pen.

Iris is peacefully sleeping in her own space.

Finally, we checked on the cubs. Sometimes it’s hard to count them, but here they are in their own Acclimation Pen.

Yep, all five are present and accounted for.

It’s always reassuring to see that all the bears are OK.