Balthazar (King B), our little Louisiana cub, is doing well in the Hartley House. Even though he is almost a yearling who has lived outside since last spring, he has adjusted well to being indoors. Of course, that is because the curators have done everything they can to provide enrichment for him and to keep him from becoming bored. His favorite toy is a large rubber cylinder that holds treats inside. He has learned to roll it to make the treats come out. Don’t tell him, but the toy is actually designed for horses. Even so, it’s very good for a little bear.

King B decided to move his treat toy into the other room of Hartley House.
He was able to get the toy to do what he wanted and brought it through the door.
He dragged it. He pushed and pulled, making progress with each movement.
Success! The toy is now where he wanted it. It took him about half an hour – not bad!
Now he wants to roll it back to the other room again.
King B pushes, pokes, and shoves, but no luck this time.
It doesn’t fit!
While expelling some scat, King B thinks it over.
He gives it one more try.
Oh well. King B goes into the other room. The treat toy stays where it is.
There is a smaller treat ball in this room. King B decides it will do.
After all that effort and exertion, Balthazar went to sleep on his bed.

It’s amazing how persistent a little bear can be, when he decides to try to accomplish something. King B worked hard, but ultimately conceded defeat (or perhaps just decided it wasn’t worth any further work.) In any event, we can see that he thought it through. It makes us understand why wild bears demonstrate remarkable problem-solving skills that sometimes seem hard to believe.