Trouble in Cubby Paradise

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The curators noticed that Hops Bear was losing fur and were concerned about his health and well-being. Reviewing the security cam footage, they saw that the cubby wrestling between Hops and Bourbon Bear had become more strenuous and it appeared that Bourbon was picking on Hops – bullying him, in fact. They captured and transported Hops to the UTCVM, to make sure that his fur loss wasn’t due to an illness. When they captured him, they were able to check his weight and found that he now weighs 30.2 pounds, a healthy weight for a six-month-old cub. The vets affirmed that he is healthy and that his fur loss is not the result of illness. When he returned to ABR, Hops spent the night in Hartley House.

Curator Tom loaded up the Cubmobile with greenery to go in the Hartley House .

The plan was to release Hops back into Wild Enclosure #3, but to move Bourbon Bear into Wild Enclosure #4 in hopes that a new setting, with different cubs would calm him down. To capture Bourbon, the Acclimation Pen was opened up; when three cubs entered, the curators caught Bourbon with a catch pole, put him in a transport carrier, and let the others return to the enclosure.

Curators Quanah and Coy captured Bourbon with a catch pole. The other cubs (on the platform) were released.

Bourbon was taken to UTCVM and found to be in good health, weighing 33 pounds.

Hops Bear was released back into Wild Enclosure #3 as soon as Bourbon was captured.

Hops seemed happy to be back in the enclosure and went for a “swim” in the drinking tub.
Lemon Drop greeted Hops on his return.
The two cubs seem to have a good relationship.
Prost and Cheers Bear were curious about the newcomer into their enclosure.
Bourbon took to a tree in Wild Enclosure #4.
Hopefully, Bourbon will be calmer and less aggressive in the new locale. The cubs already knew each other by scent, so they weren’t total strangers.
Watched by Prost and Cheers, Bourbon set off to explore.
He went up to the platform.
The siblings were checking him out, and he was doing the same.
Bourbon was a little bit intimidated, it seemed.
Potential new friendships in the making?
The four cubs still in Wild Enclosure #3 lined up at the fence to watch. Perhaps they wondered how and why he was over there now.
Hops seems to have resettled into the enclosure. His fur will grow back soon.
A dove landed on the safety log to get a drink from the pool. We hope this is a sign of peace in the enclosures.

ABR curators seldom interfere with the cubs and their affairs once they are in the Wild Enclosures, but in this case it seemed that Bourbon’s aggression was increasing, and Hops was bearing the brunt of it. For that reason, and to make sure that the hair loss was not due to illness, they made the decision to separate the two cubs. We’ll watch how things develop from now on. Stay tuned.