October 24, 2018
The bears at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge are on the move! This past week, six of our bears were relocated from 3 habitats across the property into their new forever homes! The six bears will now live in two large habitats down at rescue ridge.
On Sunday, TCWR team members moved Xena, Koda G, and Popper into the larger of the two habitats. Currently, Xena and Koda G live separately from Popper, but they will be introduced shortly after the habitat grand opening, which will happen this Sunday, October 28, 2019, at 12 pm. Introducing bears is not usually an issue, as long as they have plenty of space, which they will.
On Monday, we moved Holli, and Lolli. These two small black bear girls already live with Huggy, a Russian brown bear. Because of how big Huggy is, we decided to wait until Tuesday, to move Huggy.
While we had the bears sedated, our on-staff Veterinary, Dr. Kellyn Sweeley, did a full examination for each bear. She assessed their overall health, ran blood work, took X-rays, microchipped them, and got a weight on most of them. Our the smallest black bear, Xena, weighed 220lbs. We did not get a weight on Huggy, since he was so heavy to lift and move, but we estimate that he weighs well over 800lbs.
All three moves went smoothly and all six bears are waiting, impatiently, to explore their new homes. They are currently spending the next few days in their new night houses, acclimating to the new environment. This Sunday, the public is invited to join us for a special habitat grand opening at noon. Visitors who attend will get a special hayride tour of rescue ridge and the bear habitats, along with the chance to see five of the six bears take their first steps into their forever homes.
The bear habitat project cost over $150,000 and took 18 months of dedicated hard work to complete. These habitats sit on a combined 3 acres of land and are our two largest habitats at the refuge. They are full of trees, natural enrichment, plenty of food to forage, pools, and more! We are excited that the project is done and cannot wait to see how the bears react. Please join us this Sunday for the grand opening, we hope to see you here.