It’s true – the long-awaited release of our four yearlings (3 from Louisiana, 1 from South Carolina) finally happened on May 5th. As you know, the travel restrictions because of the coronavirus had prevented wildlife officers from the two states from coming to Tennessee to collect their yearling bears. The four bears were healthy and ready to return to the wild.

The protocols were changed for these releases, in that the two state agencies came at different times to avoid any possible virus transmission and everyone wore face masks and gloves. Also, the number of photos taken was much fewer than usual. Here they are.

Curator Coy holding Boudreaux and Beignet, the LA twins, on their admittance to ABR March 1, 2019. They were very tiny as 1-month-old cubs.
Beignet Bear weighed 90 pounds at release!
Boudreaux weighed a whopping 127 pounds!
Jessamine Bear arrived from South Carolina in June, 2019.
When released, Jessamine weighed 107 pounds!
A recent photo by ABR photographer Ken LaValley. He managed to get all three of the yearlings in this shot.
Balthazar Bear arrived in January. He was a year old, and weighed only 17 pounds.
Balthazar Bear weighed 67 pounds at his release. A handsome young bear.
Curators Coy and Ashley carry one of the yearlings to the staging area.
Curators Tori and Ashley assist the LA officers with the workup of their three bears.
In South Carolina, Jessamine Bear is released and races into the woods.

It was a happy day for curators, wildlife officers, and especially for the bears. We are glad that the yearlings have now returned to their homes and are starting their new lives in the wild. We wish them long and happy lives where they belong.