Bear News – August 19, 2023


Bear Antics and Eggs

Bear Weights:
Lucky 474 lbs. (wet) • Holly 280 lbs. (wet) • Tasha 330 lbs.

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_single_image image=”36764″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]Last week I saw Lucky lounging in his new tub, Tasha resting on the rock den, and Holly enjoying the scent of citronella.

Many photos have been taken of Lucky sitting in Tasha’s tub lounging. A few days later a new tub appeared and Lucky owned it. He is interesting when he sits in it. He will put his face and nose in first, then his front paws, and then he tries digging at it as if it will enlarge. Finally he sits, slumps and puts his feet up. He knows how cute he is.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36766″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36762″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]Tasha and Holly have begun playing again. It seems like it’s been a long time with estrus, challenges and dominance issues. Holly is still in control and still the matriarch. Tasha took her turn to rest and nap on the rock den. The woodchucks seem to have vacated the area.

Holly was holding an avocado under her chin while she was marking on the tree at the top of the falls. I think the interns had rubbed citronella on the bark. It is a scent that Holly loves. As she was getting into her rub, she dropped the avocado. When she had finished rubbing her back in citronella, she again retrieved her avocado.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”36761″ img_size=”491×500″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][vc_column_text]On August 9 around 3:00 pm we noticed Holly limping and holding her left front leg up. We put her in Den 1 and took pictures. Later, Spencer got some better pictures of a legitimate wound.

Our veterinarian prescribed an antibiotic in case of infection and we kept her in Den 4 until it looked better. After just 4 days of rest and healing, Holly was out in the main enclosure. Her wound is looking good although it hasn’t closed yet. She proceeded to climb up the fence giving me a good view of the wound. She lapped up her medication which was pulverized and mixed with blackberry jam and cranberries. She used her left paw to scrape the cranberries towards her mouth and used her tongue to retrieve all the jam. In 2012, Dr. Rogers wrote in his updates about some of the research bears having a variety of wounds and mentioning how quickly they healed.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36765″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36760″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]Do bears eat eggs?

The bears at the bear center love chicken eggs. They have to be in the shell, not cooked or broken. Lucky actually drools when he sees an egg. Many years ago we tried an experiment. It would have been with Ted, Honey and Lucky. Ted and Honey ate the farm fresh egg but Lucky only wanted the store-bought egg. That happened in 2008, today we only buy store bought eggs. Eggs are a part of their breakfast here. A bear’s diet is less than 10% protein. Black bears are omnivores and opportunistic eaters.

“Animal Protein. Insects and animal matter are less than 10% of the annual black bear diet around Ely and across most of North America.” Click for more on Animal Protein from our website.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”36763″ img_size=”500×474″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][vc_column_text]Each of our bears have unique ways of eating their eggs. Holly cracks the egg gently in her mouth, laps up the egg with her tongue and then eats the shell. The egg shell contains 95% calcium carbonate, 3% phosphorus and 3% magnesium. Holly, like Honey, eats the shell but not all the time.

Lucky, gently cracks his egg, his butt has to be up, he cradles the egg between his front paws and he enjoys lapping it up. If you hold it and show it to him, he will start drooling. Tasha just cracks the egg and eats it quickly. No fuss, no muss, just good eating.

Dr. Rogers wrote about Jewel eating eggs out of a nest in 2012 “She (Jewel) rousted a Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) from its nest and ate the eggs—shells and all.” (Read more by clicking here) and video as well: (Click to view) This link will start the video at the moment Jewel begins eating the eggs.

Dr. Rogers also talked about a bear eating painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) eggs in his update on June 11, 2021. “What made it interesting was that Lucy ate egg after egg without leaving a single shell. Usually we see empty shells where a fox has eaten turtle eggs. We don’t know if bears always eat the whole egg or if this was something that Lucy does. We’ll be watching.” (You can read the full update by clicking here.)[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]We have several nuts and dried fruits listed on our Amazon Wishlist if you would like to help feed our bears it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for all you do.
Sr. Bear Keeper, Sharon Herrell[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]


2023 List of Updates


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