Bear Feature Stories & Photos

This is a very cute, short video of little Beignet Bear trying to get comfortable in her Cub Cave. It seems that she doesn’t like the way her blanket is positioned, and she tries to fix it.Click here to see the video.

It’s obvious that she doesn’t quite have her coordination down a yet, but good that she is able to attempt to fix her blanket problem. Skills like coordination are developing in both of the cubs as they get stronger.

Today we have reports on the cubs and yearling, and we’re happy to say that all three are doing well. We’ll start with little Beignet Bear. You’ll recall that she had to spend a couple of nights in the ICU at UT College of Veterinary Medicine because of difficulties with her digestive system. Since she returned to the ABR Cub Nursery she has been making good progress, as you’ll see.

Beignet Bear is ready for her bottle.

Look at that! She has passed the 2 pound mark! Good bear!

That’s enough excitement. Time for a nap!

Brother Boudreaux Bear is an “eager eater” and drains his bottle at each feeding. He has gained weight, too, now he tops the scale at 3 pounds, 12 oz. Of course he was almost double his sister’s weight when they arrived, so his weight is not surprising.

Boudreaux Bear waits for his bottle.

Does he look impatient?

Eat and sleep – the life of a bear cub.

The curators adjust the amount of formula based on the individual cub’s weight. Beignet is now getting 25 ml of formula per feeding and Boudreaux is up to 45 ml per feeding.

The third of our Three Bears, Hartley the semi-furred yearling, is eating everything with enjoyment. After being given the green light to serve bear diet pellets (which should help with the fur regrowth) and blueberries in addition to the bear milk replacement formula, Hartley has been a little more active. However, he still sleeps a lot – sleeping helps him to make up for the long period he went without food or rest.

It’s a bit harder to see Hartley through the top of the pen, but there he is on his bed.

We are so happy to be able to report the good news about the three bears. Hopefully we’ll have more good news in days to come.

We’re back with news of the past few days. Most notable was the fact that tiny Beignet Bear (if you recall, she weighed just 1.4 pounds on arrival, which was half the weight of her brother) was not eating and had stopped eliminating. This was a very serious problem, and resulted in her returning to the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. She was put in the ICU for 2 days and nights, so she could be watched closely. An ultrasound showed she had a type of colic – too much in her tummy to allow any further intake of food. After an enema to take care of that, the vets tried several different types of nipples, finally finding one that she accepted. At first, her brother Boudreaux was with her for company, but after he started crawling over her he returned to the ABR Cub Nursery.

When Beignet was eating and eliminating successfully, she was able to return to the Cub Nursery. The curators keep the cubs separate but close, so they can smell each other but fragile Beignet won’t be overwhelmed by her boisterous brother. Here is Curator Tom feeding the larger cub – he still looks pretty small to us!

Curator Tom feeding Boudreaux Bear.

All gone! Boudreaux Bear drains his bottle.

Beignet snuggles into a cozy, “cubby cave” and virtually disappears. She’s really hard to see.

Yes, there is a cub inside the “cave.”

We are very glad that she is able to be back at ABR, and we are sure she will make great progress now – she is eating, pooping, and peeing!

A quick look at our partly-furred yearling, Hartley Bear. He is gaining strength and is eating well and sleeping a lot. Hartley continues to lose fur and we are told it will take several months for him to grow a new fur coat.

Hartley Bear is gaining weight but still losing fur.

We will be back with another update tomorrow or the next day. We’re glad that all three bears are making progress.

This will be a very short post, and it will be a few days before we can post again (sorry about that).

Here is a photo of Curator Coy holding the two LA cubs, Boudreaux and Beignet.

The one-month-old cubs just fit in Coy’s hands.

The next photo shows Hartley Bear, our yearling, taking a nap after he ate his breakfast.

Hartley Bear takes a nap after each meal.

Our three little bears are getting the best care they could find anywhere, at Appalachian Bear Rescue. Stay tuned – we’ll be back in a few days.

Thanks for your patience.

The three little bears at ABR are getting serious, round-the-clock care. Seems that it takes three curators in shifts to care for the three bears. Makes us wonder how a solitary mother bear manages when she has more than one cub.

Here are photos taken as the bears were drifting off to sleep.

Hartley Bear is feeling better. He took his “stuff” to bed with him.

The curators provided the toys for Hartley as enrichment, to give him something to investigate. He didn’t pay attention to the things for a few days, but now he seems to have decided that they are “his stuff” and he took them to bed. A sign that he is feeling better!

The sibling cubs snuggle up together to sleep.

Newborn cubs snuggle up in a “cubby pile” with their mother in the den, so it is perfectly natural for the sister and brother to do the same at ABR. Their daily cycle is cry, eat, poop and pee, sleep, and repeat. Keeps the curators busy!

We posted about the two tiny cubs from Louisiana who arrived by plane (!) from LA on March 1st. The babies have been keeping the curators busy, since they must be fed every couple of hours around the clock. Here are pictures of the little ones after a feeding, when they are ready for sleep.

My, what a big mouth for a little cub!

She looks like she’s “all tuckered out.”

We said we’d post about Hartley Bear, the partly-furred yearling from Kentucky. Please be patient – we’ll do that tomorrow morning.

March 1, 2019 was a Big Day at ABR. On that day we received two tiny, one-month-old bear cubs from Louisiana! Here is what happened.

Maria Davidson, biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, had contacted ABR about two tiny cubs in need. The ground nest in which they were born was in danger of flooding, and the cubs needed care. Curator Coy flew down to LA to talk to Maria and meet the cubs.

Maria Davidson tells Coy about the rescued cubs.

The two cubs, a male and a female, were about 6 weeks old.

The female cub was smaller than her brother and weighed only about 1 pound.

The male cub weighed a bit over 2 pounds.

The cubs had been checked by a veterinarian in LA and they were found to be healthy. Maria had contacted TWRA to get permission for the cubs to come to TN for care.

They were much to small for a road trip, but fortunately an ABR supporter who flies his own plane volunteered to fly the cubs to us.

Maria Davidson signed the transfer papers.

Curator Coy and the cubs are ready to go.

Soon The cubs are ready to enter the Cub Nursery pen.

Cub #283 and #284 , Boudreaux and Beignet Bear.

Curator Coy placed the two cubs in the pen and they soon went to sleep.

Welcome, Benignet and Boudreaux Bear! We can see the size difference in this photo.

These little cubs are so tiny that they will require 24/7, round the clock care. Curators will be busy!

Our next post will be an update on #282 – Hartley Bear, the yearling from Kentucky.

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