Cubs #242 and 243 – and Snowflake’s New Digs

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It’s true – ABR received two more cubs from separate locations in Blount County.  Cub #242, nicknamed Star Bear for the white blaze on her chest, weighed in at 18.1 pounds.  That’s about what a 5-6 month old cub would weigh in the wild.  Star is eleven months old, like all of the cubs in residence.  Here is Star Bear being examined at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine.


Star Bear is examined.

Seeing her on her back, we can see the “star” blaze.  In the Southern Appalachians, about one bear in four have a white blaze of some sort, and bears with blazes are usually females.

Star with blaze

Star Bear has a white blaze on her chest.

Although very underweight for her age, Star Bear is reasonably healthy.

Cub #243, nicknamed Joy Bear, is even smaller.  She weighed just 11 pounds, a normal weight for a three to four month old cub.  Despite the low weight, she is also reasonably healthy.

Joy Bear

Joy Bear is being checked.

Joy - teeth

Joy Bear has healthy teeth.

Our little Snowflake Bear was in the Acclimation Pen for just 5 days, finished her medicine, and was ready to go into the Wild Enclosure! When she was moved to the Acclimation Pen, the curator was able to weigh her and found that she had gained 5 pounds in a week.  Although she didn’t get weighed again, the curators are sure that she has gained more weight.  It’s amazing how quickly a bear cub can put on weight when good food is available.  Here is Snowflake on release into Wild Enclosure 3.


Snowflake surveys the scene.


Instead of immediately climbing a tree, she explores.

We are sure that the tree climbing will come soon enough.  Here are the two cubs with whom she shares the enclosure – Zellie and Milo Bear.

Milo and Zellie

Milo and Zellie Bear sleep in separate trees.

This was a big day for Snowflake Bear, who had to stay in the Cub Nursery at first, before graduating to an Acclimation Pen.  Now she is in the Wild Enclosure where she can get back to the business of being a bear and getting ready for her second chance in the wild.