Bear Feature Stories & Photos


Now that all three of the cubs are sharing the same Wild Enclosure, things are proceeding quite peacefully.  Apollo has seemed to be glad to be back in the “wild” again, and has been seen climbing up and down a tree.  Otto and Rollo have decided to claim the tree and branch that used to belong to Summitt Bear.

Apollo

Apollo Bear makes himself comfortable in his tree.

Apollo

We can’t read his mind, but he appears content and relaxed.

apollo

His progress is good. Fur is growing back and the incision site is healing well.

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Look at Otto’s long tongue! Sleeping Rollo is draped over the branch.

Rollo

Rollo wakes up and walks along the branch.  His tongue is out, too.  Maybe he’s after insects.

Rollo - Otto

A rare “Cubby Eclipse” – Rollo sits directly in front of Otto. We can see a bit of Otto’s ear.

It is a relief to the curators that the cubs have not had any confrontations.  Hopefully they will get acquainted before long.  They have already introduced themselves, bear style, by scent, of course.

In our last post we showed you Otto and Rollo Bear being lazy in their Wild Enclosure while Apollo Bear was pacing in his Acclimation Pen.  The curators conferred with the vets at UT and were given the go-ahead to let Apollo out into a Wild Enclosure to avoid further stress on the cub.  Rather than introducing Apollo into Wild Enclosure #3 that Otto and Rollo have resided in and consider to be their “property,” it was decided to tempt the two of them to enter Wild Enclosure #4, which would be neutral ground.  This would give all three of the cubs a fresh start in a new space.  Here is how it worked out.

Otto - Rollo

Otto and Rollo Bear were sleeping in their tree in Wild Enclosure #3.

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They perked up in response to a noise. Cubs are always curious.

The noise that got their attention was the gate between their enclosure and Wild Enclosure #4 being opened and treats (grapes) being scattered to form a trail.

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Otto and Rollo followed their noses and tummies to Wild Enclosure #4.

Apollo

The gate to the Acclimation Pen was opened. Apollo peeked out.

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Apollo emerged into the enclosure. He hadn’t been on the ground since his rescue.

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Apollo climbed a tree, but it was one that is shielded to prevent cubs from climbing up high.

Apollo climbed down and foraged a bit on the ground.

Otto - Rollo

Otto and Rollo huffed at the newcomer.

Otto

Otto and Rollo moved over to the tree that Summitt preferred and settled on his branch.

Apollo

Apollo climbed an oak tree and snacked on some acorns in the tree.

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Otto and Rollo went back to sleep.

Apollo

Apollo climbs up and down in his oak tree!

The curators were very pleased that there were no problems.  They had hoped the move and introduction of a third cub to the enclosure would go well – and it did!  It will be interesting to see how the cubs react to each other in the days to come.

 

 

In our last post we showed what happened when Rollo Bear was napping in a tree and Otto tried to wake him up.  Finally, Otto gave up and napped along with Rollo.  Today, the two in the Wild Enclosure were quite lazy.  Neither one of them expended much energy.

Otto

Otto sat in one tree. He had a serious look.

Rollo

Rollo struck a pose in another tree. He was awake, but not moving much.

Then Otto moved over to Rollo’s tree.  That was his energy expenditure for the day.

Otto- Rollo

Both cubs stayed put and didn’t engage in any more activity.

Apollo was the active cub.  He paced in his Acclimation Pen.  The curators read this as a signal that he wants to get out in the Wild Enclosure.

Apollo

Apollo Bear paces and looks out of his pen. He seems to be saying, “I want out!”

The curators will confer with the UT vets to determine what is best for our active cub.  Stay tuned – he may be moving out very soon.

We have an amusing story in photos today.  Rollo Bear was sleeping in one tree while Otto Bear was in another tree nearby.  Otto decided to try and awaken his buddy, but Rollo was really sound asleep.  Look what happened.

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Rollo naps up high in his tree; Otto is on a lower branch in his.

Rollo

Rollo is asleep in his tree.

Otto

Otto pays a visit to Rollo.

Otto - Rollo

Otto gives Rollo’s foot a swat.  Rollo doesn’t react.

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Otto tries again.

Rollo - Otto

Otto tries again. No response from Rollo. He is really sound asleep!

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Finally, Otto gave up. He sucked his paw and then went to sleep himself.

These two cubs were sleepy, but Apollo Bear was wide awake in his Acclimation Pen.

Apollo

Apollo Bear – awake and alert.

The curators are looking for Apollo to demonstrate that he can climb up and down in his pen before they can release him into a Wild Enclosure.

 

In our last post we told you that Rollo and Otto Bear had been lured into an Acclimation Pen for the duration of Hurricane Irma that was forecast to pay us a visit.  Fortunately the visit was very brief and did not do the damage that might have resulted.  So the door to the Wild Enclosure was opened again and the cubs were back in the enclosure.

Rollo

Rollo Bear was the first one to leave the pen.

Otto - Rollo

Otto and Rollo went to the culvert den first.

Otto - Rollo

They played a quick game of “King of the Mountain” and raced off through the enclosure.

Rollo - Otrto

The cubs climbed the white oak tree.

Rollo

The cubs nibbled on acorns in their tree. Here is Rollo.

Rollo

They seemed to be glad to be back in the trees.

White oak acorns are the favorites of bears and many other wildlife species.  Otto and Rollo are fortunate to have a white oak tree in their enclosure.  Of course, the curators provide additional acorns, but the tree in the enclosure gives the cubs the experience of climbing a tree to eat as they will do in the wild.

This time it was “King of the Mountain” in the Wild Enclosure as Otto and Rollo vied for position on top of one of the culvert dens.  Otto seemed to come out on top in this round, but look what happens next.

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The cubs were in a playful mood.

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Otto on the culvert den – “King of the Mountain.”

Oto

Otto looks for his sidekick, Rollo.

Otto

Rollo was down below. Otto subdues his pal.

Otto

Otto is still the “King.” We can see a wee bit of Rollo.

At this point, Curator Janet threw food into the Acclimation Pen.  With the remnants of Hurricane Irma headed our way, the curators decided they would intervene and try to confine the cubs to the pen to keep them safer than they would be in the trees.  Rollo was the first cub to follow his nose to the yummy smells.

Rollo

Rollo entered the Acclimation Pen and went straight to the food wheel.

Rollo

Rollo stood up to reach into the food wheel.

Otto

Otto left his “throne” to follow Rollo into the pen.

Rollo - Otto

Otto has to wait while Rollo eats.

Rollo - Otto

It’s a bit crowded here at the food wheel.

Rollo

Someone is hogging the food!

Rollo - Otto

A tangle of hungry cubs.

The fact that the cubs are in hyperphagia made it fairly easy to lure them into the Acclimation Pen.  They will be safer there, and when the storm passes they will return to their Wild Enclosure.

In another Acclimation Pen, Apollo Bear is getting used to his surroundings.  He usually hides from the curators.

Apollo

Apollo can be seen from a viewing spot above.

Apollo Bear is doing a lot more walking now that he is in this larger pen.  The curators are glad to see that, since the exercise is good for strengthening his muscles.

 

We have said that Otto Bear and Rollo Bear take their responsibility for eating and putting on weight very seriously, and they certainly do.  But after all,they are babies and have to take time out to play.  That is what we see in the photos for today – some cubby play.  They chased each other around their enclosure – starting at the Cubby Pool.  The photos that the curator was able to get show how their game went.  Seemed like they were having a lot of fun.

Rollo

Rollo dipped his paw into the water.

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As Rollo inches his way into the pool, Otto is working on the log.

Rollo - Otto

Otto pushes on the log.

Rollo - Otto

What will happen now? Otto is determined to move the log.

Rollo - Otto

The log moved and Rollo got wet. Otto, outside the pool, stayed dry.

Rollo

Rollo is thoroughly soaked. He climbed out and went after Otto.

Otto

Otto hurried to climb a tree. Wet Rollo was not far behind.

Apollo Bear played his own game of “hide and seek” with the curator.

Apollo

Where is Apollo?

Apollo

We can see a bit more of the cub.

Apollo

Apollo is getting used to his new, larger and higher Acclimation Pen.

Apollo

He hasn’t been observed to be climbing yet.

The curators are monitoring Apollo closely, to see when he will climb in his new pen.  We are sure that he will, when he’s ready.

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