Bear Feature Stories & Photos

The day after Ms. Intruder Bear visited, ate a large helping of the cubs’ chopped peanuts, and was  removed and relocated by TWRA, the cubs carried on as usual.  They didn’t seem to have any leftover anxiety about the fact that a stranger had been there!

The Six-pack entered the Acclimation Pen, looking for snacks.

There had been chopped peanuts in there, which Ms. Intruder Bear had eaten.  No snacks today, though.

Undeterred, they continued to look for treats.

They hardly look as though they need snacks, they are so roly-poly.

Over in Persimmon’s enclosure, she was seen alternately foraging and snoozing.  Her enclosure looks very barren, with the leaves and underbrush all but gone.

Persimmon Bear in her bare enclosure. Looks like winter.

Piccola and Dash settled down near a fiery bush and ate what they could reach.

The weather and lack of foliage are likely to make the bears think about winter and denning.  When they are released, they will probably look for their own den location very quickly.


We will not be able to post for the next several days, but will be back after Thanksgiving.  Hope you have plenty of goodiesto fill your own tummies on that day.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is a short but amusing video of Persimmon Bear at night, trying to rid herself of a pesky leaf.  When she gets rid of the leaf you’ll hear the cheers.  Click here to watch and chuckle.

It’s interesting that even though the platform in her enclosure is as yet unfinished, she is using it, balancing easily on the two boards.

As they watched the cubs in their enclosures on the camera display in the office, Curators Coy and David noticed something odd – the Six-pack cubs were on their platform, but there was a bear in the Acclimation Pen, eating the chopped peanuts!  It was an intruder bear!  They quickly called TWRA, and monitored the situation.  The enclosure cams were recording the scenes that unfolded – here are the results.

Ms. Intruder Bear approached the pen.

Ms. Intruder Bear enters the pen, lured by the smell of peanuts

She started to munch on peanuts.

She found more peanuts in more places!

Ms. Intruder Bear made herself at home, eating lots of peanuts.

She stayed for quite a while, leaving and then returning.

She probably couldn’t believe her good luck.

Curious, she investigated the pen.

Ms. Intruder Bear was tall, as she stretched up to show her height.

Meanwhile, out in the enclosure:

The Six-pack was on their platform, but amazingly started to come down.

We might have expected the cubs to remain where they were, but their hunger pangs caused them to descend.

Ms. Intruder Bear had gone outside, so the cubs ate the leftovers.

Curator Coy lowered the gate, hoping to keep the cubs safe. Two escaped.

TWRA came, darted Ms. Intruder Bear, and took her away from ABR.

The cubs were on the platform. Coy opened the gate.

The cubs came down and went back outside.

The excitement was over for the day, with no one the worse for wear.  The cubs in the other enclosures (Piccola, Dash and Persimmon) were not troubled at all.  All is well at ABR.


The ABR cubs received an early Christmas present from Catawba Brewing Company.  The gift was 840 pounds of chopped peanuts!

Here are the boxes of chopped peanuts, courtesy of Catawba Brewing Company.

Since chopped nuts wouldn’t scatter well, the curators put bowls of the treats into the acclimation pens.  It’s time to leave the gates open so the cubs get used to going in and out.

Several bowls of chopped peanuts for the Six-pack.

Chopped peanuts for the Six-pack proved to be a big draw.

They pushed each other as they scrambled for the tasty nuts.

Persimmon Bear didn’t have to share her peanuts.

Imagine – peanuts with no shells!

Piccola and Dash received some of the chopped peanuts, too.

Piccola ate and then looked around. Dash stayed outside.

This was an unexpected gift, and one that the cubs appreciated greatly.  The curators appreciated the opportunity to begin to accustom the bears to going in and out of their Acclimation Pens.

Ken LaValley, ABR’s photographer of record came by and took a beautiful photo of Persimmon Bear.  Persimmon has only been at ABR for a few weeks, and was seriously injured when she arrived.  Look at her now!

Persimmon Bear has gained weight and looks very healthy.

As you can see, the fact that she was wet from the rain didn’t phase her a bit.  She’s becoming a beautiful bear.

The cold weather has given us cubs with fluffy coats of winter fur.  This makes them look even fatter than their increased chubbiness from all the foraging.

Persimmon Bear appeared to forage for her breakfast.

Can you remember scrawny Bosco Bear when he arrived weighing just 17 pounds?

Ruff is the depiction of a chubby and fluffy bear cub.

Three fat cubs – Viola, Willow and Tumble – still eating!

Piccola Bear heard a curator approach and scampered up a tree. Good bear!


It is obvious that all of these little bears are getting bigger and bigger.  No question about it – they will be ready for their wild lives very soon.

Just like humans, bears have habitual ways of behaving.  We have some photos that demonstrate this.

Claw marks on trees show evidence of bears’ scratching.

Some bears prefer to sleep in a daybed, like Magnolia did.

The Six-pack cubs like to sleep on their platform.

Piccola Bear rips bark from the platform in her enclosure.

The cubs use the same paths when navigating their enclosure. Bear trails are the result.

Bumble B Bear liked to swim in his pool.

Magnolia Bear preferred her drinking tub.

Bumble B (and others) shred logs to find insects.

Viola Bear is one of the cubs who attacks saplings.


We can see how the bears reveal their habitual patterns of behavior.  They are similar but different, just like people.

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