Since last spring, the Wildlife Center of Virginia has admitted 17 Black Bear cubs - a record number.
May 2013 - The tiny cubs were bottle fed by staff until they were able to drink their formula on their own.
The last week in July 2013, sixteen bear cubs were moved to a newly-complete Large Animal Isolation Enclosure.
And on January 8th and 9th, 2014, seventeen cubs were transferred to the new Black Bear Complex - 3 "yards" - about a 1/2 acre each. Each yard is an area of natural forest habitat.
These are screen captures I took from the Wildlife Center's Critter Cams. All screen captures are the property of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
On Wenesday, 4 cubs were transferred to 2 transition areas of the bear complex. Here 2 cubs are exploring one of the dens. A water bowl is on the right.
The 4 cubs spent the night in the transition areas.
After the gate from the transition area to the large yard was opened on Thursday morning, it didn't take the cubs long to start climbing trees.
Nice view from here...
The other 13 bears were transferred to the Bear Complex through the day on Thursday. The bears were divided into 2 groups - 8 in one yard and 9 in another.
Early Friday morning there were several bears in the trees.
Bears in the mist - it was a foggy day with a "wintry mix".
It's hard to put into words the feelings I had as I watched the bears being able to be bears - and knowing that these tiny bears I watched back in the spring were 1 step closer to being released into the wild. It was impossible to drag myself away from the computer on Friday. (I did get a lot of knitting done as I watched - multi-tasking at it's best.)
"You watchin' me?"
Per the Center, the bears will be released by several VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries officials later in January.
All screen captures are the property of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
More WCV bear info:
And lots of good info about the Wildlife Center and their work:
More screen captures from January 8-10, 2014 on my website: http://www.janehoganphotography.com/black_bear_cubs_2014
Use this blog's search function (upper right) to find more posts about the Wildlife Center of Virginia.