Ambassador Bears, Fred, and a Welcome Return - UPDATE May 6, 2018

Senior Bear Keeper Sharon Herrell sent a nice report on Ted, Lucky, Holly, and Tasha:

Bear News – May 6, 2018

TedTedYesterday, Ted showed us a good example of bear behavior proving itself. Our sweet Ted decided that the food on the scale wasn't as important as the food available to him on the ground. As he walked from small pile of seed to small pile of seed, Bear Educators waited to get his weight. He weighed in at 523 lbs, a gain of 8 lbs. He then enjoyed a brief, but cooling swim before walking back to his enclosure. We also recorded weights for the other bears. Lucky was 404 lbs., Holly was 250 lbs., and Tasha was 204 lbs.

In the interim, Tasha, who has been in her enclosure healing from a paw injury, was released into the big enclosure with Ted. Ted noticed Tasha on the mound and began making his gentle grunts to her. Tasha saw him and continued to stomp walk over the area Holly had marked the previous night. Both Ted and Tasha made eye contact; Tasha slowly walked up the mound still marking, while Ted sat near the rocks resting and watching the food shed. Lucky and HollyLucky and Holly

Very late Friday evening one of our Pond Chat Moderators took a snapshot of little Tasha asleep near her water bowl. She had been playing contently with it and then fell asleep. Bears do amazing things and we keep learning expressive behaviors. Thank you to our Pond Chat Moderater cam drivers.

TashaTashaLucky and Holly again displayed their running and climbing abilities. As they settled down, both joined a Behind-the-Scenes group near the mound area to entertain us. Lucky is happy to be together with Holly. It does appear through observations he is still displaying some anxiety towards Tasha. My hopes are that we can work on this throughout the summer, but for now we will continue to rotate bears on a daily basis.

Thank you for your support.
Sharon Herrell, Senior Bearkeeper
North American Bear Center

Out the window at the WRI, 2-year-old Fred, one of Samantha’s 4 cubs from 2016, began the day with a visit. He has black fur but looks lighter here in the early sun. A white-throated sparrow gave a close-up look at its strikingly marked head.

And then came a welcome return. Midday, I thought I heard a tap on the window. Later, at my desk, I had confirmation. 8 and 4, named for the 2 spots at 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock on his left iris, was safely back from migration (likely to the southeast US coast). He got a double helping of bologna.

White-throated sparrowWhite-throated sparrow 8 & 4 gull eye8 & 4 gull eye FredFred

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center