It is getting closer to time for bears to den, and the cubs are feeling the call to slow down. Not that they have stopped eating – far from it! But it never hurts to try the various dens in the enclosures, just to get ready.

In Wild Enclosure #2, Dandelion Bear decided to try out a vertical den. It was made to replicate the tree dens favored by many Smoky Mountain bears. In fact some of our cubs may have started life in a tree den that might have been 50-60 feet off the ground in a hollowed out tree!

Here is the result of her testing the vertical den.

Dandelion climbed into the den.

Dandelion appropriated the den. “It’s MINE!”
Another bear comes to pay her a visit.
Dandelion is not willing to share.
Bluebelle Bear tries to get in.
Uh-oh! Bluebelle may not fit. That’s a pretty big caboose she has.
Bentley decides to give it a try. will he fit?
Time to eat – Dandelion comes out of her den to join the others.

What an interesting sequence of events. It proves that if a bear can get its head into a hole, the rest of the body will follow. Likely either Bluebelle or Bentley would be able to get in, if Dandelion were not in the way! We’ll probably see more den-tryouts in the weeks to come before their release.