The Bear Center has new bear cubs!
The Bear Center welcomed 4 new cubs—two males, Adak and Dodge, and two females, Zuri and Willow—in January 2015.
All four cubs have been hand-raised by staff and graduate students at the Bear Center in order to foster a strong working relationship between the bears and researchers.
We bottle-fed the cubs a special high-fat milk mixture 6-8 times per day, beginning before their eyes even opened.
When the cubs weren’t eating they were mostly sleeping for the first few weeks.
Then they began learning to walk, then learning to wrestle, and now they can be seen playing in the exercise yard at the bear pens.
Trained bears are an important part of allowing us to collect data from animals without using anesthetization, which allows us to obtain the most accurate data we can. Some of the work we plan to do with the cubs includes voluntary blood draws and getting the bears to walk on a treadmill for energetics research.
Training the cubs is also an important part of enrichment for the bears—allowing them the opportunity to exercise their intelligence and learn new things. They also get a food reward for working with us, which they always love!
Come visit the new bear cubs at the Bear Center!