The curators decided it was time for the two little cubs – Hops and Barley Bear – to meet face-to-face. As we mentioned, they already had met via their super-sensitive noses, but this was when they would actually be together.Since Barley seems to be comfortable with eating from a bowl, it is hoped that Hops will follow his lead and learn that skill, also.

The menu for the two cubs is more varied. They are offered 15 quartered grapes, 1/2 cup each strawberry and blueberry yogurt, 1 bear milk formula cube, and Pedialyte. The cubs must be watched to make sure that they are actually eating the food, not just wearing it. It is important that they become comfortable with eating soft solid foods before they become frustrated by the size of the pens in the nursery.

Curator Quanah finishes cleaning the pen and stocking it with the new foods.
Hops and Barley meet and start to play.
Food tasting begins.
Cubby-see, cubby-do. They will learn from each other.
The two cubs in a lump together under their climbing thingy.
Meanwhile outside, another clever invention to add enrichment to the wild enclosure – this time a springy tub for cubs to play in.

It seems as though Hops and Barley are on their way to cubby friendship and playtime. It won’t be long until the new kid, Bourbon, will be ready to join them.