The curators had not seen Bud Bear climb a tree since he went into the Wild Enclosure. They were sure he could, because he went up on the resting platform, but they had yet to observe him climbing. To be absolutely sure that his leg has healed, they wanted to witness the act of climbing. His New Year’s gift was the cameras catching him actually climbing up a tree out in the enclosure.

He was sleeping in his daybed by the tree.
Oh bother! Around midnight, it started to rain. Bud could have gone into the Culvert Den or the Acclimation Pen, but being a bear, he equates safety with a tree, so that’s what he chose.
Bud started to climb, and did it well with no sign of difficulty!
Up he went!
He is a good climber and his healed leg performed well.
As the rain got heavier, Bud settled himself high up in the tree.
The rain turned torrential, registering as white stripes in the camera images.
After this photo, the rain created a solid white sheet, obscuring everything.
It didn’t last too long, and Bud came down to spend the rest of the night in his Culvert Den.
He woke up and gave a yawn.
Bud went into the Acclimation Pen to feast on nuts and apples. Bud is ready to return to the wild, especially after his display of climbing ability.

We are betting that Bud will be released within the next week. Watch this space to see if we’re right!