Ted was gentle and trusting to his human caretakers. Ted and Honey (now deceased, 2016) were raised together for ten years in captivity in Wisconsin. Ted was the smallest of three cubs. He was black most of the year but bleached to dark brown in mid-summer when he began to shed.
After a decade of caring for Ted and Honey, their owners were faced with new insurance rules that prevented them from keeping the bears any longer. They asked the North American Bear Center to give their beloved bears a home, and they arrived at the center on April 28, 2007 just prior to our opening in May 2007.
Ted’s pleasant vocalizations assured us that he was trusting of his caretakers, but he reacted to Lucky as wild males would react to one another when a female is present during mating season. The years of playfulness with his playmate Lucky changed in 2012 when Lucky matured and became competition. Although Ted struggled with arthritis he managed pretty well.
Our beloved Ted passed on October 31, 2022, at the age of 25 years and 9 months. His body failed him quickly, he became paralyzed and his vet said he probably would not make it through the night. The decision that would normally be hard was obvious to everyone, he was euthanized shortly thereafter. Ted is buried next to Honey who died on April 2016 of a similar condition.
Ted was special. He will be missed by many. Each of us has his or her favorite memory of Ted. He especially loved when children visited and made his welcoming whoots as he made his way to the fence to greet them. He taught thousands of people each year the truth about black bears, and with his gentle personality and sweet vocalizations made himself a favorite while changing people’s attitudes about bears.
Rest in Peace Ted – you will never be forgotten.