Is Tasha Calling it a Year? - UPDATE October 24, 2019

A little update on Tasha is that she is mostly staying near the dug den we think she will use for hibernation. Sharon’s news of several days ago gives some history.

Oct. 20, 2019 - Bear News

The announcement and anticipated wait for a yearling we formerly called Kentucky bear; came to fruition on June 6, 2016. Her previous guardian had called her Tasha; she knew her name so we didn't change it. Tasha through her humorous actions with her water tub has lightened hearts all over the world.Tasha in her tubTasha in her tub

Tasha in tub with waterTasha in tub with waterTasha is very dramatic and if no one pays attention to her she will pull her toes up to her chest and rock. We respectfully call her our "drama queen". If that doesn't get attention, (which if usually does) she puts her paw over her head and contorts her body. It’s always time to move to her on the behind–the-scene tour when she starts acting. One of her most endearing actions is she suckles her food, such as yogurt raisins and hums while sucking her paw. It’s the sweetest sound when approaching the dens and hearing her humming like a cubby, makes my job the best.

When I began working with Tasha she would always want to play. She played tug of war through the fence with anyone strong enough to challenge her. She uses logs, tubes and balls as play items when she has them. Tasha enjoys eating and often paws the fence indicating she wants more. She was raised with a dog and mimics a behavior as a dog would when wanting a treat.Tasha's footprintTasha's footprint

Tasha is apt to “ask” for a back rub as Holly does. This action prompts immediate response and direction for me to get busy. She will put her paws on my hands and gently guide them to where she wants them, especially around her ears. No one else does this except the 2 females. It’s a very privileged event to do this for them.Those paws and claws rip open logs, dig dens, move large rocks and climb trees and yet never leave a mark on my hands when scratching either bear.<Tasha with a dirty bellyTasha with a dirty belly/em>

Tasha has always used a dug den rather than a man made den. This year she has focused on two different areas. One area that she started has a large root in her way. Her previous dug den is what I feel she will use. She is preparing it. The water that was in the bottom of it has now dried and she is adding leaves, twigs and the straw we provided her with. This is the first year she has used straw.

Tasha digging a denTasha digging a denOur little Tasha bear out weighs Holly by many pounds. Play will still happen in the spring, I'm sure; but as Tasha matures, the challenges of the enclosure heightens. For now, she's just a sweetheart and many of her behaviors mimic Ted. Her eyes are kind, her personality is kind and she reflects many actions that our Ted bear has. I think I like my Tasha bear. :)

At the Bear Center we are gearing up and getting ready for Give to the Max Day. The date is November 14th, and I'll be here to help raise money for our bears.

Thank you for all you do,
Sharon Herrell, Sr. Bearkeeper

Ted with pumpkinTed with pumpkinA couple days ago at the Bear Center, Ted got a taste of Halloween with a special pumpkin filled with peanuts that he is reaching with his tongue.

PileatedPileatedOut the window here at the WRI, the bear we think is Fred stopped by again this evening and is his good old self. I’m very happy that he is among the survivors and hope to see him a lot next summer

Also, out the window, a block of suet brought the male pileated woodpecker back today. Last night, Fred sniffed the suet but decided to leave it for the birds, although he would have been welcome to it if he wanted.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center