Bear

Oregon Zoo Keeper Cares for Bear Cub

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This post was reprinted in entirety from the Oregon Zoo's outstanding press release

"Michelle, we need your help."

So began a conversation that Michelle Schireman, an Oregon Zoo keeper known for taking in orphaned cougar cubs, realized would upend her life, both professionally and personally, for a while. It was her day off from the zoo, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was calling her at home.

As Schireman recounted that surprise phone call to zoo staffers a couple days later, a furry black animal about the size of a Labrador puppy wobbled Bambi-like around her boots, unsure of where to go next. Its tiny size, downy fur, and attachment to a nearby beaver plush toy suggested something harmless. But the sharp teeth and long claws confirmed its true identity: American Black Bear – and, of course, the reason for ODFW's call.

On April 23, state wildlife officials fielded a call from a Medford, Ore., family that had taken a young bear cub from the wild and brought it into their home. With no idea how to care for the helpless yet wild animal, they turned to professionals. Those professionals turned to Schireman.

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The animal keeper, who serves as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' population manager for cougars, has fostered orphaned cougar cubs for several years, having placed nearly 75 during her time with the Oregon Zoo.

"I'm usually the first person fish and wildlife departments call when orphaned cougars are found in the wild," Schireman said. "Young cougars can't survive without their mothers, so I work with accredited zoos to find them new homes." Schireman's big heart and animal-care expertise led wildlife officials to believe she might find a home for this young bear cub too.

She got permission to house the cub temporarily at the zoo's Veterinary Medical Center during her workday, taking him home with her at night since the cub was still of nursing age and required around-the-clock care. At just a couple of months old, the bear weighed 4 pounds – about the same as a half-gallon of milk – which, surprisingly, is normal for an animal that could grow to be 6 feet tall and weigh up to 600 pounds.

42512BB-205-EditPhoto credits: Michael Durham / Oregon Zoo

Read more and enjoy many photos after the jump

Continue reading "Oregon Zoo Keeper Cares for Bear Cub" »


Baby Bear Quadruplets for Zoo Sauvage

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When Zoo Sauvage's twelve year old mama Black Bear emerged from the den after hibernation this spring, she brought a surprise… or four. Bear cub quadruplets are rare and usually reflect a healthy mother who is larger than your average bear - this she-bear fits the bill. Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien's Black Bears live in an open 824 acre habitat called Nature Trail Park.

Baby Bear Cubs Zoo Sauvage With Mom 1Photo credits: Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien


Czech it out! Two Brown Bear Cubs Make Their Public Debut!

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On Thursday, two Kamchatka Brown Bear cubs made their first ever public appearance at Zoo Brno in the Czech Republic. The cubs received their shots, each was microchipped, and vets determined that the cubs are males. All this in a fifteen minute check up! Immediately after the check up and press debut, the cubs returned to their den where they'll remain until they are ready to roam their outdoor exhibit. The Kamchatka Brown Bear is a subspecies of the Brown Bear native to the Anadyrsky District, the Kamchatka Peninsula, Karaginskiy Island, the Kuril Islands, the coastal strip west of the Sea of Okhotsk southward to the Stanovoy Range and the Shantar Islands.

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Photo credit: Zoo Brno / Martin Lukac


Little Bear Brothers Make Their Debut

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Photo Credit: Jeanne DeBonis

Two orphaned Grizzly Bear cubs made their public debut on June 14, 2011 at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.The little bear brothers traveled to Cleveland from Montana, where they were being cared for in a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

The cubs, estimated to be about 4 months old, came to the Zoo on June 2 weighing about 20 pounds each. Currently they weigh about 40 pounds each. When fully grown, an adult male Grizzly Bear can weigh up to 900 pounds. After a routine stay in quarantine, the grizzly cubs are now ready to begin exploring their Northern Trek exhibit, which has been specially prepped for young bears.

The Zoo wants the public to help determine the cubs’ new names. Visit www.clemetzoo.com and help us “Dub the Cubs” by voting in the online poll. Results will be announced on August 1.

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Photo Credit: Jeanne DuBonis/Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

A man looking for shed antlers in the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area near Helena, Montana startled the cubs’ mother. The man shot the mother Grizzly in self-defense and the cubs were taken in by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Continue reading "Little Bear Brothers Make Their Debut" »


Filthy Baby Bear Goes to the Vet

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Just last week, Aalborg Zoo keepers finally succeeded in separating a very muddy cub from mom Malik in the birth den for an overdue veterinary examination. Not surprisingly, mom and cub were not happy about this as evidenced by the cubs feisty resistance in these photos. However, the examination went swiftly taking only 4 minutes, during which time the cub was weighed (already 35lbs / 15kg!), the gender was determined (it's a boy!), and a DNA sample was obtained. The Aalborg Zoo explained "When the cub returned to mom, it didn't take long until it seemed as happy and adventorous as before the weird incident. Afterwards the zookeepers handfed the cub with a special treat: dried figs, and this offer wasn't refused."

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Dirty-boyPhoto credits: Sussi Køber

More pictures and video of the cub playing outside below the fold, or see previous ZooBorns coverage of the little guy from March 1st and February.

Continue reading "Filthy Baby Bear Goes to the Vet" »


It's Raining Little Penguins!

A bird in hand... baby penguin at the Cinncinnati Zoo

Apparently it's baby penguin season on ZooBorns with the latest adorable installment coming direct from the Cincinnati Zoo. This Little Penguin chick is just two-weeks old and is currently being cared for behind the scenes, inside the Zoo's Wings of Wonder exhibit.The chick weighs approximately 250 grams (or a quarter-pound), but is expected to weigh just over two pounds as an adult. Mom, “Oreo” (7-years-old) and dad, “Boomer” (8-years-old), were not properly incubating the egg, so staff at the Cincinnati Zoo made the decision to pull the egg and incubate it themselves. Little Penguins are the smallest species of penguin but that doesn't mean this chick doesn't like to eat. Zoo aviculture staff have to feed the demanding little bird six times a day, every three hours. At first it was fed a delicious fish milkshake but has since graduated to slices of fish (sashimi if you will).

Feed me! -  Baby penguin at the Cinncinnati Zoo

Baby penguin at the Cinncinnati Zoo

Don't miss this great video


Romp Around the Clock

The National Zoo's Andean Bear cubs have emerged to romp about for delighted Zoo visitors. The weather is perfect for these native South American cubs, born back in January, to begin exploring. Also called spectacled bears, in the wild these bears are typically docile and cautious when approached by humans, but will fiercely protect their cubs if threatened. Their colorings can vary greatly and some Andean Bears' heads are entirely cream colored.

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Little Sun Bear in Singapore

The oldest – and possibly ‘fiercest’ – sun bear at the Singapore Zoo is now the proud grandmother of a yet to be named male baby bear. This 33-year-old matriarch named Garang, which means ‘fierce’ in Malay, and her daughter Judy welcomed the new family member in February.

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Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

A species ‘vulnerable’ to extinction, Singapore Zoo, is doing its part to ensure the sun bear’s survival through its successful captive breeding programme, which has produced three sun bears since Garang’s arrival as a one-year-old cub in 1978. Mother and daughter duo Judy and Matahari were both born in Singapore Zoo, as was the latest three-month-old addition.