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It’s getting close to release time for the ABR cubs and yearling! In order to be ready, the curators have begun the usual “passive capture” routine by opening the gates to the Acclimation Pens in each of the enclosures. When the gate is opened, the curious cubs get used to wandering in and out, and since food is stocked in the pens now, rather than being thrown into the enclosures, they soon develop the habit of entering the pen to eat. On the day when they will be released, the gate is lowered, confining them to the Acclimation Pen. The wildlife officers can easily dart them in the pen, with no possibility that a cub will climb up a tree, making him/her hard to capture. Take a look at how chonky the cubs have become!

Good examples of chonky cubs – Sage and Little Trouble Bear in Enclosure #4.

Here is their Acclimation Pen. The cubs are starting to enter and exit at will.

Here comes another cub!

They will continue to come into the Acclimation Pen to eat now.

It was raining, so of course these cubs chose to rest on their platform.

Nettles stays up in her tree, coming down to eat when the other girls (the Fight Club Cubs) are not around. She is still leery of them, and they are leery of her, too.

There is some play in the pen – the swingy ball is still popular.

The cubs are curious about the things in the pen.

In Acclimation Pen #3, the T cubs and Myrtle are using their pen to get the food.

They eat at all hours, even in the middle of the night.

Heather the Yearling is entering her Acclimation Pen. She lies on a bed of peanuts to munch!

For the next couple of weeks, we will watch the still-hungry little bears continuing to gain weight and get ready for hibernation. Stay tuned!