A new video on the ABR YouTube channel shows some very typical behavior of young bears.  Click here to see “Just Being Bears.”

We have been asked about these “big bears” in the Wild Side pen and one question always is, “Why aren’t they out in the wild when they are so large?  Surely they don’t need the TLC that they needed when they were tiny like some of the most recent admissions.”

While it is true that they would be large enough to survive in the wild now, the fact is that they do still require food and there is none out there at this time.  Rest assured that as soon as there is food for them, the wildlife officers will come back to claim them and take them to their new, wild homes.

Another question has been about the condition of their fur.  Some have asked if they have mange or another skin disease.  The answer to that is they do not have a disease; the fur loss is the result of being crowded together in dens during cold nights and sometimes warm days.  The heat has an effect on their fur.  Along with the good nutrition they are receiving at ABR, as they spend more time outside their coats will improve.

In this video you will see some typical “play-fighting” by two sets of bears.  Adult bears seldom fight but cubs and yearlings stage mock fights often.

Through these “fights” they strengthen their muscles and test various moves that they might use in the future.

In the wild, just as at ABR, young bears interact in this way, much like puppies or young children.

They seem to be having fun, too!