Bears in Winter

Posted at 4:42 pm November 9, 2010 by Suzanne Hall

As we head into the winter months of the Northern Hemisphere, bears across the globe are preparing for a change in weather. But not all bears respond to the season in the same way.

Wild brown and black bears are facing a bleak time of limited food availability in the coldest months of the year. For this reason, late in fall they engage in hyperphagia, compulsively eating anything they can get their paws on. This builds layers of fat that will be essential to keeping them warm and healthy through the upcoming winter. This fat is not only insulation against the cold, but the key to their ability to hibernate. While in their winter torpor, the bears draw on fat to keep their metabolism running, thus minimizing the wastage of their muscle while they fast. Adult female bears need an especially good store of fat to support the energetically demanding processes of birth and lactation while denned up over the winter months.

Pandas are Northern Hemisphere bears, but they do not experience torpor to the same degree as their North American cousins. Unlike the salmon, berries, and roots depended upon by brown and black bears, bamboo does not typically experience seasonal fluctuations in abundance. Only panda females den up, and the timing of their denning seems to coincide with the shooting of bamboo in some areas, making a more nutritious resource available at a time when a new mother needs it most. But the panda males do not experience torpor; they continue eating year-round.

Polar bear females den up in late fall and give birth in November or December. They emerge in the spring. But males don’t den up extensively; instead, the winter is an active time for the males, as the sea ice returns and they can break their fast by hunting on the ice.

Some zoos manage their animals differently, promoting the cycle of hyperphagia and torpor that exists in the wild. At the San Diego Zoo, our cold-weather bears don’t experience the same seasonal food variation as do their wild counterparts. This is why grizzly bear brothers Scout and Montana won’t spend their winter months waiting out the cooler weather; instead, they will be active year-round. Our polar bears, too, don’t have to worry about ice abundance, because the staff supplies them with year-round sustenance. Only our pandas will demonstrate a pattern of behavior typical of their wild counterparts in the Northern Hemisphere.

Of course, it’s a well-known truism around the panda facility: you can always count on Gao Gao to show interest in his bamboo, no matter what or where we are on the calendar.

Suzanne Hall is a senior research technician for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Read her previous post, Panda Family Reunion?

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43 Responses to “Bears in Winter”

  1. Lainie says:

    Any more news on Chinook ? Is she denning ? Do we have any further clues yet as to weather she is with

    cub(s) or not ? Yhank You !

  2. Michelle O in San Joe says:

    Any news of Chinook? Probably not, just anxious.

  3. Karen in Edmonton AB Canada says:

    Thanks Suzanne for the great blog. Always informative and so interesting. I wish you could have a continuous supply of snow for the polar bears.

  4. GRAMMMIE says:

    Sorry I haven’t writtien, I have been under the weather but trying tp catch up. Rita Petita has spme new photo pagee- here is her link so you can enjoy them too…love grammmire

  5. lu says:

    Any chance that we could see some cubs this fall and winter? Haven’t heard to much about how the mama

    to be is doing, is she going to have som cubs? Sure hope so

    Thanks for the info, always enjoy all the blogs. You can learn so much.

    See you later this month.


  6. Heidi says:

    Sure missed seeing Gao Gao on Friday. We couldn’t even see him munching or sleeping through the crack in the exhibits. Sniff! Bai and YZ were good entertainment though the 4 or 5 times we checked on them!

  7. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    ‘Hey ladies, watch out I am coming in,’ yells Lun Lun as she joins the other Panda Mamas in the jacuzzi.

    ‘Haha, sit here where there are jets to massage the feetsies,’ says Bai Yun pointing to a spot to the right of Mei Xiang and Lin Hui.

    ‘Where are the European Mamas?’ asked Lun Lun looking around.

    ‘They arrive this afternoon, something about an airport strike somewhere,’ murmurs a blissed out Lin Hui.

    Mei Xiang picks up a bamboo biscuit from a tray and passes one to Lun Lun.

    ‘Xie Xie, hmmm, yum, cinnamon arrow bamboo biscuit! Wah I cant get this is Atlanta!’ exclaims a delighted Lun Lun.

    Bai Yun removes her sunshades and looks at Lun Lun enviously, ‘My, you have lost your pregnancy pounds so fast, congrats! Lun Lun Mei Mei, how did you do it?’

    ‘Long hours in the birthing den, what else? Bai Jie Jie, I need more of the cream as the little one is always wanting to nurse. Ouch!’

    Mei Xiang turns to Ling Hui and offers to cover her shoulders with sun cream.

    ‘Where did you find this Panda Mama Spa?’ asked Mei Xiang.

    Bai grins and replies, ‘A nice hooman told me about this place opened by lovely hoomans to help panda mamas relax and get ready for Spring. So I thought why not have a Panda Mamas’ Convention so I sent out the invites last month. Glad you all could make it.’

    A chorus of contented sighs was her reply while a hooman wheeled in a trolley filled with panda treats.

    ‘Ladies, all your cubbies are in the play ground. Madame Bai, Yun Zi is organizing them to do a concert later this evening. Shall I leave the trolley here?’ asked the nice hooman.

    ‘Thank you. Yes, please do,’ and Bai’s eyes lit up as she saw the apple tarts on the cart. Then she leaned back and allowed the waters of the jacuzzi to work her tired muscles.

    After tea and treats, the Panda Mamas went for massages and a fur trim. By the time the European Mamas arrived, it was time for dinner with the cubbies as well and a movie. Tonight they screened the old classic, ‘Kung Fu Panda.’ A good time was had by all.

    The End

  8. Danielle, NY says:

    Recently I came across a blog in Chinese with many funny pictures of Shu Xiang making a splash around a fountain. blog(dot)sina(dot)com(dot)cn/s/blog_49246d360100mkjj.html As usual the translation was not very helpful. The blog mentioned that the pandas were in quarantine; however I could not find an article about Shu Xiang and Qi Miao arriving in Macau, but I came across an article mentioning that the completion of the panda pavilion in Macau was being delayed. I asked Jeroen if he knew where the pictures of Shu Xiang playing in the fountain were taken and he told me that Shu Xiang and Qi Miao are in a quarantine facility in Chengdu before being moved to Macau. In the mean time, Shu Xiang seems to have a blast with the fountain, it seems like a lot of fun, but probably not easy to drink from it…


  9. Danielle, NY says:

    I also asked Jeroen about the mysterious 7th panda on some of the pictures in the article I mentioned in comment #27 in the previous blog. Jeroen confirmed that it is Ya Ya’s cub; it has been kept away from the public as it has been staying with its mother. I am glad that Ya Ya and her cub have been given that opportunity as Ya Ya, born on August 24 1990, is 20 years old and it is probably her last cub. She has given birth to 13 cubs, 12 have survived, her oldest cub is Yang Yang, father of Mei Lan, Xi Lan and Lun Lun’s newborn cub. It is really good news to me that Ya Ya and her cub are staying together, as I am very much in favor of maternal upbringing of cubs when possible. Hopefully the cub will be staying with Ya ya until natural weaning. An article will be posted soon on Jeroen’s website about Ya Ya and her cub.

  10. barbara says:

    Thank you Suzanne for a great article, Your article comes at a time when on Monday we had a bear in my town and he charged a police officer and had to be shot. I live in a populated area and this is the second bear that we had. Northern N.J. is becoming so populated that the bears are moving south into towns that still have some wooded areas but are coming into residential area to look for food. this was a 300 lb male black bear so sad for such a beautiful creature. N.J is again ready to start a bear hunt again which is a hot topic in the state. I don’t believe this the answer, we need to find better ways to deal with these creatures through conservation and land use.

  11. Deborah (No. Calif) says:

    All the bears must LOVE their cozy homes at the San Diego Zoo!! And good ol’ Gao Gao — gotta love him as you watch him devour that bamboo and then drop off to sleep. What a guy! 🙂 Thanks for the interesting post, Suzanne.

  12. Weegee says:

    Thank you Suzanne, for an instant knowledge; easy to access, easy to understand, it kind of remind me of eating a cup noodle; just add hot water and VOILA…… 🙂

    Panda in Thailand Live;

    1st of Nov was an anniversary of our panda channel, so they brought back the memories of all important events of Ah Ping together for us viewers.

    Ah Ping is now 61.1kg (134.7lb) Ck had to change a basket to a bigger one.

    LP is now ready to move on to an intro-chapter of being an adult panda. Our vet, Dr. Goi informed that Ah Ping will be allowed to have her own bamboo biscuits shortly. This is a great news to Ah Ping, I’m sure. Let’s see how much she love the biscuit.

    And I found a very cute video of LP and LH which soon we won’t be able to see them doing this together anymore….. T T

  13. Michelle from Buffalo, NY says:

    Beautiful pic of ZA baby on their website. “She” 🙂 looks big and plump.

  14. nancy from michigan says:

    I do not like the new home page at all! everything I try to search for comes up blank. I finally got to open animal blogs. I don’t find this friendly or easier. dissapointed!

    Moderator’s note: We experienced some server problems this morning. but all should be fine now. Please try again.

  15. Danielle, NY says:

    #13 Michelle from Buffalo, NY – I agree with you, the cub seems quite big for a one week old. I am glad all seems to go well for Lun Lun and her cub. Lun Lun has not changed her habits, she still prefers to leave her cub on a “bear” floor…

    As for the still unnamed cub in Vienna, all is going well also. The interaction between Yang Yang and her cub is expanding; they are starting to play together. Don’t miss today’s picture www(dot)zoovienna(dot)at/news/neuigkeiten-rund-um-das-pandajunge/

    You can see the cub touching his mother’s nose with his paw. Let the fun begin!!

  16. Danielle, NY says:

    #12 Weegee – Thanks very much for posting the links to the videos, especially the second video “Give Me A Kiss, Mama!”. Lin Ping is really a pawful… Well, there is hope for Lin Hui, the keepers can keep Lin Ping in another enclosure. I am not sure how Lin Hui would be able to separate herself from Lin Ping in the wild…

  17. Vonna - North Carolina says:

    #7 Lucilla – Enjoyed your little fantasy tale!

    Suzanne thanks for a great post! Hope we have an update on Chinook soon.

    I LOVE watching these magnificent bears, even when they are napping.

    Now, I don’t know where else to post this…..but would somebody please clean the polar cam. Also, the elephant cam now needs cleaning, also. Thanks.

  18. Frances in NYC says:

    I’m glad to see that Lin Hui still has the mother panda swat in her arsenal, since Lin Ping is sooo big! I can only imagine Bai Yun’s reaction if Yunnie were that big. So glad the panda moms have arranged a spa date, as reported by Lucilla. They certainly deserve a bit of pampering since they don’t get to hibernate like other bears.

  19. Deborah (No. Calif) says:

    Moderator or Panda Team: Has there been an update on how the renovation is coming along? Any ETC (estimated time of completion)?

    Moderator’s note: An update is in the works; the exhibit is scheduled to reopen on November 18.

  20. Chari Mercier says:

    Am I seeing the same video pic of Tatqiq and Kalluk in that dirt pile?? Sure looks like it because there they were on that dirt pile again napping today! Crazy bears!! They are alot dirtier today than they were yesterday, that’s for sure!

    Watched the video about the 2 Sumatran tiger cubs, and it was too dute! It’s the same video that’s on Zooborns. Also, I read a very serious and disturbing article on the MSNBC news website about these endangered tigers in India, Nepal, China, and around that region becoming even more endangered because poaching for skins, bones, meat. This article has stated that over 1,000 tigers have been killed thru poaching in the last year or so pushing these Bangal tigers even closer to extinction. A group called TRAFFIC, who are associated with the WWF, made the report about this disturbing trend. If something is not done to stop this poaching of these tigers and other tigers in Sumatra and Russia, we are in danger of not seeing them in the wild in about 20 years or less.

    Gonna go and check the pandacam. Will be back later!

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  21. Chari Mercier says:

    What is Bai Yun rolling herself in tonite Cal time? Was just on the pandacam, and she was just rolling all over that stuff that was on the ground, and Yuni was walking around in it sniffing the stuff. Anybody got an idea? Yesterday, I got on the cam and there was Yuni doing his balancing act on that tree limb structure that he climbed up on. I think there was a small platform that he was lying on in that tree limb. He’s always finding ways to keep himself busy!

    Back to the pandacam!

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  22. Deborah (No. Calif) says:

    #4 Grammie: I hope you are feeling better! Thanks for the link to Rita Petitia’s newest photos — they are priceless!!! 🙂 I always love to see her photos of our lovely pandas…

  23. JoGGer says:

    Watching Kalluk and Tatqiq dozing and looking more like brown bears covered in soil…the blissful look on sleeping Tatqiqs face is a joy.

    Its unlikely I’ll ever get to visit san diego…fear of aeroplanes is something of a major setback…so isnt there any chance of a mobile cam doing a tour of the zoo every so often?

    And I dont suppose theres been any further thought about adding sound… I want to hear Tatqiq and Kalluk growl when they scuffle.

    Moderator’s note: We’re not ready to offer a mobile cam yet, but we hope you continue to enjoy Polar Cam and videos, the next best thing to being here 😉

  24. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    Panda Times Review

    Panda Philharmonic debuts at the Pannedy Centre

    by Zhang Li Mei

    Tonight the audience of some of the most famous pandas and hoomans such as the nannykeepers and conservationists gathered to celebrate the debut of the Panda Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Gao Yun Zi.

    The evening’s programme had a eclectic mix of excerpts of the classical with Bearthovan’s 5th and Pandel’s Hallelujiah Chorus and the modern with songs by pop stars like Lady Baba and Panda Grrls who were in the standing room only audience A surprise was a guest appearance by the 4 tenors; Tai Shan, Fu Long, Mei Sheng and Xi Lan. They sang a medley dedicated to all the Mamas in the audience. At the end of the set, Master Yang Xi Lan dashed into the audience giving small bouquets of roses and bamboo to female fans.

    For the finale, the Panda Grrrls reunited on stage and led the audience in a rousing sing-a-long of popular Christmas carols like ‘Bamboo Christmas, I saw Mama kissing Panda Claws and Silent Night.’

    When asked after the concert if there is a special girl panda in his heart, ever the southern gentleman, Xi Lan replied, ‘I do not kiss and tell.’ And when Maetro Gao Yun ZI was asked the same question, he replied candidly, ‘I am too young. Mama will tell me who to choose. Hee Hee. And Mama knows best.’ Soon all the young cubbies were swamped by well wishers, family and fans, all wanting to shake their paws and get a pawtograph.

    What’s in the cards? Conductor Gao said the orchestra is thinking of doing a recording to get their music our there. They are also considering a joint partnership with other philiharmonics to train and develop music programmes. ‘I am excited by all the possibilities and I hope that in time to come we will play music from around the Panda World,’ gshed Yun Zi before he was engulfed by his fans hooman and panda.

    As the audience poured into the star lit night, many went humming all the way home.

  25. Teresa, TN says:

    what an adorable story Lucilla, you are very talented

  26. Bamboo Britney says:

    I just bought a plumpy panda from SDZ shop!!! 😀 I have aways wanted one! 😀

  27. Mary from Brooklyn says:

    Just a quick update on the finger. The cast is off; the pins are out; therapy begins Monday. Still use the “old” splint for the computer for now, since that way, can use a couple more fingers on my right hand. Updated pictures on flickr.

    Lucilla, if ever GYZ needs a banger for his orchestra, Hao Hao wrote me that she is ready, willing, and able. She is also a pretty good soprano. She tends to be a bit rowdy, but I’m sure her Uncle Yun can get her under control! Loved the story.

    Grammmie, hope you are all better. If not, take your advice and let someone take care of you.

  28. Rita Snyder says:

    Lucilla – your stories are wonderful. Especially loved the part about the four tenors!!

  29. Amanda says:

    #12 Weegee – I noticed LP doesn’t like to eat her carrots. Her mother loves them. She is definitely enjoying the biscuit though. This morning (nightime in Thailand) I noticed all 3 pandas are in their own individual enclosure. LP is managing just fine all by herself. She is laying on her back and is busy eating and sitting in her tire & playing with what looks like a rather long boo. She is getting so big!!

    #24 Lucille – I love reading your stories!

    #27 Mary/Brooklyn – Glad to hear the cast is off and you are on your way to recovery.

    Grammie… we miss you! Get well soon!

  30. Ellen says:

    Did the polar bears get some new enrichment items? I’m noticing some new stuff. Tatqiq is on a wooden perch type thing I’ve never seen before. She seems to love it!

  31. Kathy in CT says:

    Thanks for the very beary informative post. I can’t speak for other New England women, but your article drew a chuckle from me regarding the hyperphagia. I tend to want to munch much more as the weather gets colder- not that I can’t find winter food to eat… Will Yunnie have any opportunities to participate in snow activities in the canyon there- brought in or otherwise?

    Moderator’s note: We don’t see snow in the forecast

  32. Deborah (No. Calif) says:

    What happened to Ellie’s blog about the renovation update? I don’t see it on my PandaCam page anymore…

    Moderator’s note: Server problems. It has been reinstated.

  33. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! I was hoping to watch Lun Lun and her cub on the AZ pandacam earlier today, but it was shut down! Nobody there on Veteran’s Day to run it? Sure hope that the cam will be back on tomorrow! I did read their update for today, and Lun has been leaving her cub to eat some leafeater biscuits, drink some water. She’s been leaving her cub for about a minute each time quite a few times today, so she is starting to get more settled about her cub’s comfy level. Saw the CUTEST pic of the cub on the panda update page, and this little guy already has black on his closed eyelids, on his very tiny ears, and is starting to show black on his front legs, shoulders, and upper back areas. (I’m calling the cub him for now until we know the gender; don’t like the “it” word because it’s so impersonal.) The cub is also trying to raise himself up with his front legs, which is a sign that he’s got some strength developing.

    I hope everyone enjoyed their Veteran’s Day holiday with family & friends, as well as remembering all of our US mililtary veterans and current military personnel that have lived, fought, and died to keep our way of life and freedom alive and intact for all of us.

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  34. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    Mary from Brooklyn – I will tell her uncle yun zi and see if he is recruiting for the timpani section or of he needs a singer. The more the bearier.

    Thanks to all for your kind words of encouragement. Some times I get a visual image of the pandas and the stories just come.

  35. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    ‘Now Ladies, we need to work those pelvic muscles because Spring is coming,’ encourages Yun Zi, as he leads the Panda Mamas through a work out. Catchy music from the Panda Girrls’ latest album help the Panda Mamas keep time in their workout.

    ‘Aunty Lun Lun, that’s the way. Higher higher, you can lift it higher, Mama. And woah Aunty Mei Xiang, you are doing well. Aunty Le Le you are good!’

    Yun Zi assisted by Xi Lan are putting the full figured ladies through their paces at the Pandemonium Gym. In another room, the Panda Papas are doing weights and walking on the panda sized treadmills. Gao Gao is giving it a go on the bicycle.

    A discrete bell signals an hour has passed. ‘OK, ladies, you can take a break and get some drinks over there,’ announces Yun Zi as Princess Ping arrives with a food and drinks trolley for the Mamas. Each drink and snack is specially calorie controlled and nutritious so as to get the Mamas in shape.

    The Mamas quickly grab their drinks and rest against special cushions in the studio. While from the gym, the men are moving to the jouce bar to fll up. ‘Ho, I love the wheatgerm shake with bamboo froth,’ declares Tian Tian. ‘Me too,’ says Yang Yang as he slurps his shake. ‘I prefer the triple treat bamboo tornado,’ declares Gao Gao who loves anything bamboo. Ye Ye was filling up on the specially baked apple snackies.

    After the excercises, the Pandas moved outdoors a special enrichment filled playground was made available for them to climb, to jump and to swing. Soon the yells of the adults sounded like their cubbies as they played riotiously.

    At dinner, the Pandas sat with their respective partners as they chow downed on steamed bamboo specials and culm salads.

    Bai Yun looked into Gao Gao’s eyes and said,’Aren’t you glad we came to the boot camp?’

    ‘Yup, and I am amazed that Yunnie planned it,’ replied Gaoster.

    ‘Our boy has many ideas. He said he was on the phone with Xi Lan and they thought it would be a hoot doing this boot camp for us. All the young’uns pitched in to help.’

    ‘That’s my boy!’

    ‘That’s OUR boy!’ purred Bai Yun.

    ‘Of course, dear, of course, our boy!’

  36. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    Long time ago in Ancient China, in the Kingdom of Pandas, there lived a King by the name of Gao Gao and his Queen Bai Yun. King Gao Gao was a wise king, beloved of his people as he was a benevolent ruler. Queen Bai Yun was a famed beauty who had a kind heart. She knew which herbs were good for you and she would often be seen going into the town with her basket to deliver tonics to the sick and bringing fresh bamboo bread to the poor.

    ‘Yun Zi!’ called Queen Bai as she looked high and low for her second son.

    ‘Here, Mama!’ yelled Prince Yun Zi who was high up a tree, ‘What do you want?’

    ‘Help me to deliver some food and I want to donate some of your toys to the poor.’

    ‘Sure, Mama. I was thinking that maybe I can start a school in the village to help teh children learn to read and write,’ said the young princeling as he shimmied down the tree.

    ‘What a good idea. Have you thought it through?’ asked the Queen Mama.

    ‘Yes, and I think my teacher, Lord Xing Xing, can be the perfect Principal.’

    ‘Yes, he is a good teacher. Let me see what Papa thinks.’

    And the mother-son duo set off to the poor part of town in their carriage. As the carriage went down the narrow roads, pandas gathered outside to cheer them. When they reached some of the homes, Queen Bai got down and started to distribute food. Prince Yun Zi went door to door to hand out toys to the cubbies. Soon a large number were following him. He gathered the cubbies together and taught them some nursery rhymes and told them stories.

    One cubbie was crying in the corner. Yun Zi’s heart went out to her. He carried her up and gave her a hug. ‘What’s wrong, little one?’ asked Yun Zi.

    ‘My Mama is very sick. I think she is not long for the world,’ said the little one through her tears.

    ‘My Mama is very good with herbs. Let me see if we can help.’ Prince Yun Zi carried the little one and entered her home. In one corner was a den full of hay and there lay a sick wheezing panda.

    ‘Good afternoon, dear aunty. Please do not get up. How are you?’ asked Yun Zi.

    ‘Kind Prince, thank you for coming to visit my humble home. Cough Cough!’ whispered the weak panda.

    Then Queen Bai entered. She took one look and took out several bottles from her basket. She went to the fireplace and started stoking the fire. She called out to her footmen to return to the palace and bring more firewood. She started to warm up the tonics and made a broth for the sick panda mama. Then she fed the panda mama with her broth and tonics.

    In the meantime, Prince Yun Zi dried the young cubbie’s tears. ‘What’s your name, young boy?’ asked Yun Zi.

    ‘My name is Mei Yun and my family name is Li,’ replied the cubbie.

    ‘What a pretty name and you will grow up into a great beuty!’ said Yun Zi.

    ‘Thank you for helping my mama,’ said Mei Yun.

    Queen Bai joined them. ‘Your mama is not too far gone so my tonics should be able to help her. She has a bad lung infection. I will send more firewood and a blanket. Keep your mama warm,’ advised Queen Bai.

    ‘Where is your papa?’ asked Yun Zi.

    ‘He is away in the next town, trying to earn bamboo for mama and me,’ replied the little one.

    ‘I will ask him to return and the palace will send you all the bamboo your family can eat,’ said the Queen.

    ‘Thank you, thank you,’ screamed the young one who ran to hug the Queen.

    As the mother and son left, Prince Yun Zi turned back to wave to Mei Yun.

    ‘I see, that young lady has caught your eye, eh?’ noted Queen Bai.

    ‘She is sort of cute, but young, you know too young.’ blushed Yun Zi.

    ‘But cubbies grow up and she will be a great beauty….’

    ‘And she is also a cloud…hahah, Beautiful Cloud…’

    ‘And she would be a nice addition to the family, eh?’

    ‘I am too young, Mama.’

    ‘And you will grow up soon too.’

    ‘Hee Hee, I know.’

  37. Bobbie Wood says:

    To All: Ryoko123panda has new videos of Yun Zi and Bai Yun! Here is a link:

  38. Annie Panda says:

    Thank you for the post, I didn’t know that the panda’s behavior changes a little getting closer to winter. Anyway, I was on a school field trip for the week, so now I am home and I am just catching up on the life of pandas!

    Peace, Love and Pandas CIAO!

    Annie Panda 😎

  39. Polar Team says:

    #30 Ellen

    The bears were given pumpkins that day. And there is deadwood and a floating log for the bears to play with.

  40. kat wilson says:

    Thank you, Suzanne! It ain’t easy being a bear….unless you reside at the SDZOO, then you are a beary lucky bear, indeed!

    #4, Grammie, sorry you are under the weather =( ….thanks, tho, for update on Rita Petita’s latest and greatest….in many of the pix, Little Cloud looks like he’s crying “uncle, uncle!!! so darn cute!! Good eye, as usual, Missy Petita!

    Haven’t been able to keep up with all the blogs, any word on our transplanted girls….????????

    Miss, miss, MISS them…..

    Thank you, kat

  41. Michelle from Buffalo, NY says:

    Have Scout and Montana received their snow yet?

    Moderator’s note: We are still trying to raise the money for snow for our brown bears.

  42. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Hi Suzanne: I visited the bears at my zoo this weekend and was really surprised just how active they still are. I’m curious about your statement “Some zoos manage their animals differently, promoting the cycle of hyperphagia and torpor that exists in the wild. ” How does a zoo go about promoting this behavior? Living in a state that has different seasons, why wouldn’t our brown bears, grizzilies, and black bears exhibit topor on their own? Is it all because of food availability?

    I love watching Tatqiq and Kulluck play and I was surprised to see our PB girls play with each other just like your PB’s!! They were chasing each other around and playing Queen of the Hill and knocking each other off the rock into the water.. One of the girls spent alot of time standing up in the water against the glass interacting with all the little munchkins looking face level with her…

    One last question… do you have real live fish “enrichment” in the pools with your PB’s? I’ve seen our girls go after the fish in their pool but haven’t seen them catch one yet.. 🙂

  43. Mike says:

    Interesting! I hope that everybody had a great and happy Thanksgiving and I hope that they have a great weekend!