Bear News – August 23, 2021

Stop, Look and Listen!

Bear weights:

Ted 639 lbs., Lucky 483 lbs., Holly 314 lbs., Tasha 364 lbs.

Fun fact: Did you know the first bear that existed before the American black bear was called Ursavus elmensis? It existed over 20 million years ago, becoming the earliest member of the Urisnae family. It was about the size of a fox terrier and was known as the dawn bear.

Holly always enjoys getting her feet wet in the overflow creek which is now dry. She still will go in to wet her feet. As she exits, she will often stop and put her nose to the air to smell and then continue on her way. The bears often check before going to a feeder to make sure no other bear is in the area.Lucky has been swimming and retrieving the apples we throw into the pond. If an apple is in his breakfast bowl he won’t eat it, but if it’s in the pond he loves it. In fact, all the bears enjoy getting apples out of the pond and eating them. At one point he was distracted by a sound and stood listening facing the forest near the dead fall. What did he hear? A raven mimicking the speaker for the Behind-the-Scenes tour or was it Holly lurking in the background? He did eventually investigate but isn’t telling. He also walked bipedal on the pond floor. He is such an amazing bear with many skilled moves. It also denotes how shallow the pond currently is.Lucky has also been digging in his enclosure. I think he was digging up a squirrel’s cache of nuts but maybe he was exploring to see if he could den underneath. Just a few yards away, under the huge piece of bedrock, is a pre-dug hole. If he were to dig there it would be a worthwhile effort. Lucky removed a good-sized rock weighing 55 lbs. We had a fun guessing contest on Facebook and Jen Bruski had the closest guess at 55.5 lbs. Congratulations Jen!One of our Moderators took several beautiful pictures of a raven this week. Its eyes are piercing and the detail is remarkable. Ravens are inquisitively intelligent birds and often mock the interns as they call for the bears. It’s a great deal of fun to do it purposely so the ravens will interject. It seems in the picture that this particular raven was curious about either the sound of the camera or saw something interesting. In any case I found its eye captivating.Ted is finally shedding; huge pieces of brown fur are draping across his back. He makes a shadowed outline of himself with fur while he rests. Ted’s adventure day included swimming and resting. He has digging skills too and viewers watched as he demonstrated how the biggest of bears do it. The heat has been very hard on all the bears, resting in their tubs or with their bellies on the ground cools them off.Tasha spent time relaxing in her tub. I had gotten her to play by the fence and then she needed to cool off. Play is always on her terms.

I want to thank everyone for the great notes to the bears with your purchases from Amazon. There are still items that can be purchased if you would like to help us out. Including a written note to the bears is very special and makes me smile to know how greatly our bears are loved. Click here to check out our wish list on Amazon.

Thank you for all you do,
Sr. Bear Keeper, Sharon Herrell


2021 List of Updates
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