There is an excellent new video of the three cubs.  It was compiled from footage taken in early October and early November.  You can see how much the bears have grown in that time – and how chubby they are now.  Be sure your speakers are turned up so that you can hear the crunching as well as Otto’s trilling, the pleasure sound of contentment.  Also, watch closely when the cubs are eating nuts and you will see how they spit the shells out of the sides of their mouths.  Bears have a gap between the front teeth and molars on each side of their jaw, enabling them to eject shells without opening their mouths.  Click here to experience this fascinating peek into their daily lives.

All three of the cubs were in the same tree – surprise! It wasn’t the favorite or “Summitt’s tree.”  They chose a different tree and were stacked up in the branches, in the rain.  Looking at the size of those branches, Curator Tom wished they would go back to the sturdier branch they usually choose.

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Three cubs in one tree, in the rain.

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The branches look too small for their round bodies.

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Otto and Rollo Bear don’t mind the rain.

Apollo

Apollo Bear sits comfortably on a too-small branch of the tree.

It’s interesting that the bear cubs almost always scamper up a tree when the rain comes.  We would probably choose to enter one of the culvert dens, but not the cubs!  We just hope that they return to the bigger branch in the larger tree next time.

There is a variety of foliage – trees, shrubs and other foliage – in the ABR Wild Enclosure where the three cubs are residing.  Today’s photos capture the contrast between the jet black fur of the cubs and the beautiful colors of fall.

wild enclosure

Here is the Wild Enclosure, taken from the Lookout Tower where curators observe the cubs.

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This is the other side of the enclosure. Fall colors are lovely.

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The cubs forage among the trees.

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The Wild Enclosure is as natural a habitat as we can provide.

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The cubs can hide in plain sight (at least 2 of them are pretty well hidden).

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Nothing distracts them from their task of eating to gain weight.

Cub food

Cub food that will be thrown into the Wild Enclosure for cubs to find.

The food includes pears, grapes, apples, bear pellets and peanuts.  What an assortment!

Otto

Otto Bear shows the effects of eating that good, healthy food.

Three cubs

It’s been said that the cubs have large “cabooses.” We agree.

Bears do carry a lot of their weight in their hind quarters.  So when we say the cubs have large cabooses, we are not being critical at all.  In fact, we are very glad to see them with such a good amount of the body fat that they will need during the winter.  Keep eating,cubs!

 

 

The three ABR cubs can be described as “furry vacuum cleaners” – they move across the ground, vacuuming up the bear diet pellets, acorns, peanuts and fruit treats that the curators scatter in the enclosure.  Another new nickname has been suggested, also – the “Cheery-O’s” due to the fact that all three of them have a couple of letter O’s in their names, and they are cheery as they eat and eat, gaining weight as they go.  Here they are, eating away.

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Noses down and nubbins up – the cubs vacuum up their food.

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Apollo works to get at a tasty morsel.

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Rollo and Apollo “vacuuming” their food.

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Apollo and Otto finding good things to munch.

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The “Cheery-O’s” at work, putting on weight.

The main job of the bear cubs is to gain weight and be ready for release and hibernation.  It certainly seems that they are taking their job seriously.

 

The three ABR cubs are about as healthy as any black bear cubs can be.  In fact, they are undoubtedly more healthy and chubbier than other 2017 cubs who have been in the wild with their mothers for the past nine months.  Today’s photos testify to that fact.

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Otto and Rollo Bear on the favorite branch.

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Apollo Bear on that same branch.

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Fluffy and chubby Otto Bear.

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Rollo Bear on a different branch. His chubby tummy is evident.

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Rotund Rollo on the ground.

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Otto and Rollo investigate the abandoned and empty capture cage.

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Otto sniffs at the stump near the capture cage.

As you can see, all three of the bears have sleek, shiny black fur covering their plump bodies.  They are “picture perfect” images of young bears.

We might be a wee bit prejudiced, but we think the three ABR cubs are about the best looking cubs anywhere.  Look at these photos that Curator Coy took and see if you don’t agree.  Coy reports that they are no longer picky about the acorns.  Not long ago they were eating only the favorite white oak acorns and rejecting the chestnut oak variety.  It is said that the white oak acorns are the sweetest.  Now, however, they are gobbling every acorn in sight, no matter the variety.  It seems that hyperphagia is still governing their eating behavior.

Otto

Otto Bear is a handsome boy.

Apollo

Apollo, also, is a very handsome and healthy cub.

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Rollo has grown – he’s not the smallest any more.

We aren’t sure why Rollo Bear made himself visible more than the other two, but here are two more images of Rollo.

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Rollo was looking for acorns – any kind will do!

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Nose to the ground – Rollo munches.

They are all very good-looking little bears, and we are glad that they continue to eat and put on the weight they need to get through the winter.

 

Black bears, like our cubs, blend into the shadows in the woods very well.  The species evolved in forested areas, so the black coloring is good camouflage.  As we’ve seen, the cubs at ABR often hide in the underbrush, where their coloring renders them almost invisible.  Fortunately, we do get to see the cubs in today’s photos.  They come out of the shadows to forage.

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Apollo and Rollo forage in the woods.

Apollo

Apollo Bear – we might miss the bear and think he’s a shadow.

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These two cubs look like shadows.

Otto

Otto Bear is all about eating, so he comes out to forage.

Rollo

Rollo Bear is also out of the woods to find food.

It looks to us as though our three little cubs are very wise in the way of bears, thanks to their time in the Wild Enclosure