Bear Feature Stories & Photos


Today’s post shows some of the cubs doing their own things and showing off their chubbiness.

Piccola, the smallest of the cubs, is getting bigger these days!

Viola Bear resting on the platform.

Viola moved to the ground and resumed her resting pose.

Willow Bear decided to sit on this previously ignored stump.

Another cub vied with Willow for the stump.

Willow stood up as if to challenge the other cubs.

Ruff Bear and Willow tussled while Viola looked unimpressed.

Although the energy level of the cubs seems to be lower, they do have bursts of activity.  Then they retreat to sleeping platforms or daybeds to rest and snooze.  Such is the life of a bear or a bear cub during late autumn.

The bear cubs at ABR (or anywhere else) aren’t into cyber anything.  The bears’ equivalent of the internet is the various ways they have to communicate and send messages, mainly by scent.

Persimmon Bear sends and receives messages through her sense of smell.

She learns about her environment through these scent messages.

The Six-pack cubs communicate that way, too.

These two of the Six-pack are getting rounder each day.

Piccola and Dash Bear look for food.

Dash Bear receives scent messages.

Piccola Bear shows us how round she is as she leaves.

Willow Bear showed some energy as she climbed high in a tree.

As expected at this time of year, all of the cubs are slowing down.  They don’t eat as voraciously (though they still eat, of course) and they spend quite a lot of time resting.  All bears slow down as the days get shorter and colder, and winter approaches.

You may remember that Persimmon Bear, our most recent arrival, was injured when hit by a car.  The accident left her with broken ribs and a damaged lung, and her condition at admittance was precarious.  That was not quite six weeks ago.

Our photographer of record, Ken LaValley, came to take some photos of Persimmon so the curators and the UT vets can observe her condition now. The results are almost unbelievable!

Persimmon Bear was snoozing in a daybed.

She started to awake with a yawn that showed off her long tongue.

(Almost) fully awake, she raised her head into a shaft of sunlight.

Persimmon showed that she is much better and seems to be back to normal.

She lay beside a sapling in her enclosure.

Bear cubs like to play with saplings. Persimmon is no exception.

The sapling will get the worst end of this encounter!

There is no doubt that our Persimmon Bear has recovered from her injuries.  Her cubby instinct to destroy saplings is definitely working well, too.  She should do well when she is back in the wild.

 

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.

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