Bear Feature Stories & Photos

We promised to post the story of Viola Bear’s move from the Cub Nursery to The Cub House.  The big move occurred on May 19th, and was in response to the cub’s behavior.  She was “asking” for more space and to get out of the Cub Nursery.


Though her wound looks bad to us, it actually has healed and continues to heal well.


She showed her desire to move by running around and climbing in her pen.


Viola huffed and blew when a curator entered .


She was moved in this carrier. She didn’t think much of it, either!

While she was in the carrier it was possible to weigh her.  She weighed 8 pounds, which was almost double her weight at arrival (4.4 pounds).


She immediately started exploring The Cub House.

In The Cub House Viola has toys, branches to climb on, a ball to hit at and a pool for her pleasure.  The enrichment will allow her to grow and develop her strength and agility.

ABR admitted Bear#270 on May 21st.  Another female – this is a yearling from Louisiana.  Here are photos showing her arrival and settling in.  She is not injured, but at 21 pounds she is underweight.  Her nickname is Magnolia, for the state flower of Louisiana.


Coy unloaded the carrier containing the yearling.


Coy and LA officer Hank Atkins carry the bear into her new quarters.

Magnolia will start out in Acclimation Pen 1.


Into the Acclimation Pen she goes.


Magnolia Bear has her first meal at ABR.

Meanwhile, a quick look at Clementine:


Clementine conquers her tree.

And a peek at Viola, who is now in The Cub House (we’ll tell you about that move next time).


Viola Bear is soaking in her small pool.

So now we have three bears – two Cubs of the Year and a Yearling.  They will be fun to watch!

Both of the ABR cubs, who are nearly four months old, are doing well.  We’ll look at Viola Bear first.  She does not like to be visited by a curator so they quietly enter the Cub Nursery and do their cleaning and feeding very quickly, and get out.


Viola is comfy in her Cubby Cave, where she feels safe.


Although it looks bad, her wound is actually healing well.

Clementine is doing better in the Acclimation Pen now that her view of the trees is blocked.


Clementine is playing with things the curators have provided. She likes the tree branches.


Clementine investigates her honey log to find tasty morsels inside.


She is eating her formula porridge with relish.

It’s good to see the little cubs making progress.  Viola will soon be moved to The Cub House where she will have more room and more chances to climb and exercise.

Clementine was showing agitation and signs of stress in the Acclimation Pen.  She continuously paced and showed she wanted to go out there where she could see the trees.  Even the branches that Curator David added didn’t calm her.

Curator Coy tried something else.  He decided to cover the view of the trees by shielding the lower half of the pen.  He worked quickly on the outside, and while he was nearby Clementine hid in her log den.  She came out when he was gone.


We can see the shielding that Coy added.


She seemed more calm.


She started eating right away.


She ate fruit and her yogurt porridge – 2 bowls!


She went toward the tree branches and played.

It appears that Curator Coy solved the stress problem.  Clementine is not ready to go out into the Wild Enclosure yet.  She’s still too young and too small.

The curators are trying hard to make Clementine a happy bear.  They have provided a tree, the pool, the honey log, a bed and Sam bear to her Acclimation Pen.  In spite of all this, Clementine shows that what she really wants is to get out of the pen and into the Wild Enclosure that she can see beyond the fencing.

The problem is that they want her to demonstrate that she can eat solid food – whole pears and apples, whole grapes and blueberries, and most important – the bear diet pellets before she is released into the Wild Enclosure.  They are going to back up a step and will try to confine her within The Cub House again until she shows the eating behavior they are looking for.

She was hiding in her log den on the platform when the cardinal stopped in for a snack.  (We often have visitors attracted by the food for the cubs)  The bird caused Clementine to come out of the den to see what it was.  It was her first appearance this morning.


Clementine peeks at the cardinal who had come for a snack.

Clementine is anxious to get out!  We hope she will wait just a bit longer until the curators feel she’s ready.

Clementine Bear is doing well in the Acclimation Pen that adjoins The Cub House.  She eats and sleeps, but she’s not satisfied.  We thought she would be content with being outside where she could see and smell the trees and greenery, but we were wrong.  She is already showing signs of stress at the confinement.  She indicates that she wants to be OUT of the pen and climbing those trees.


Even the large space and the addition of greenery doesn’t satisfy this cub.

She is too small to have that wish granted.  The curators want to keep her confined until she is eating only solid foods.  So Curator David brought a tree into the pen for her.


There she is, up on the platform by the tree.  Will this make her feel better?  Time will tell.

Our other little three-month-old cub, Viola Bear, hides when a curator enters the Cub Nursery.  She doesn’t hesitate to voice her displeasure and dislike of humans.


Viola Bear hides in her cub cave.

She is an active cub for one so small.


Viola climbs on the pen – she’s literally “climbing the walls.” 

It seems that both of these little cubs will give us new insight into the abilities and determination of bear cubs.  The curators are learning new things every day and trying to keep one step ahead of these precocious baby bears.

For a very small cub, Clementine Bear is quite the adventurer.  The curators saw that she was showing signs of stress in The Cub House, even with all the space and playthings.  So the gate was opened to the adjacent Acclimation Pen.


Clementine was sitting on top of her climbing logs in The Cub House. She waited a bit before coming down.


As soon as she felt safe, she climbed down and headed for the open doorway.

In the Acclimation Pen she can see and smell the Wild Enclosure’s trees, shrubs and grass.


She looks very tiny in the large outdoor pen.


Soon she climbed up to the platform.  Can she get down?


Getting down was not a problem. First to the stump……


Down she goes from the stump. Easy!


In a couple of days she’ll have the entire pen and Cub House mastered.


Clementine Bear is growing and learning as she explores.

Each bear is unique and has its own personality.  Clementine is one of the most adventurous and apparently fearless cubs we’ve seen yet.  It will be fun to watch her develop during her time at ABR.

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