It's that time of year! We're seeing bears popping up and popping out of their winter dens, nooks, and nests! Most of the IEAS bears were relatively active this winter, wandering from cave to cave, grabbing a bite to eat on the way, but a few of our Ursidae* residents took a more instinctual approach to the cold weather. Greta and Bertha for example both dug their own dens for the first time EVER this winter.
At 4 years old, Greta did us proud. She spent several months tucked into her very own, paw-made den within her five-acre Bear Orphanage habitat. It held up wonderfully throughout the winter, proving her abilities! Just a few days ago, Greta made her first appearance, climbing up the tree directly outside of her den. She napped there for a day or so, then took to finding the boys, Scooter and Scamp. They were happy to greet Greta, but more eager to check out her now vacant den! They ran right over to investigate and liked it so much that they took a nap there while Greta went back to her favorite summer tree!
We were quite surprised to see that Bertha had dug her own den for her first winter at IEAS. This brown bear lived the first three years of her life in the concrete "bear pits" of North Carolina. Her paws at never touched the grass or the dirt, let alone been afforded the opportunity to dig. Even still, Bertha's instincts were strong and she dug an impressive den where she spent the colder months! She has been popping in and out for the past few weeks, grabbing a bite to eat and exploring her habitat with Aggie, but retiring back to her favorite spot when nap time came around!
We're so happy to see all of the Sanctuary's bear faces saying "hello" to us after the long winter. Bear Orphanage is bustling once again!
***BONUS: Check out this video of Aggie & Bertha's progress with a sneak peak into Bertha's den!
*Mammal family that all bears belong to.