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.
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.
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.
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.