Little Bear Bobby was found in a roadside ditch filled with water one dreary March. The TWRA officers who rescued him, having been alerted by passers-by, surmised that his mother had been moving her cubs, perhaps from a flooded den, and Bobby became separated from the family.
It might have been that she could not get back to him because of the traffic…
But, whatever the cause of his abandonment, he was brought to ABR weighing just 3-lbs! Due to his extremely small size he had to be bottle-fed on milk replacement formula until he was able to lap the formula, along with yogurt and applesauce, out of a bowl. Little bear cubs grow fast and he was soon able to start eating other soft foods: berries, grapes, and lettuce. Other foods, such as apples, pears, carrots, and finally, nuts were added to his diet.
Boy, was Bobby an enthusiastic eater! He gobbled everything that was in sight.
Consequently by midsummer he was ready for release into the “Wild Side,” the large, natural enclosure at ABR where there are trees, grasses, ponds, and foliage in which to play and explore. When cubs enter the Wild Side, their exposure to humans ceases. Food is thrown over the blind-covered fence, so they can’t see that a human is providing it.
For the next several months Bobby and the other cubs practiced the wild bear behavior and skills they would need when they returned to a wild habitat. And Bobby continued to eat heartily.
He was one of several cubs released in December, and he was returned to the wild weighing 144 pounds!