Minnesota Zoo opened a new black bear exhibit on 15 September. Located on the Medtronic Minnesota Trail, the new exhibit features three bears who are approximately 2 ½ years of age. Female Tiva and males Syke and Kuruk”were orphaned in the Leech Lake area of the state as cubs. Their new home has all the features they need: trees to climb, a pool for bathing, a cave for napping, and hot rocks to lounge on during the cold weather.
“No animal is more firmly linked to the image of Minnesota wilderness than the American black bear,” said Minnesota Zoo Director/CEO Lee Ehmke. “Yet when we re-opened the Medtronic Minnesota Trail after its “extreme makeover” in 2007, these iconic animals were missing. Now, with support from the Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the Minnesota Zoo Foundation, a beautiful new habitat for black bears completes the award-winning Minnesota Trail complex. Three young black bears, rescued as orphans, will delight our guests with their inquisitive and active behaviors, and a series of attractive viewing and learning spaces will help tell their stories, and the complex relationships between people and bears throughout history.”
About Black Bears
Throughout the United States, Canada and northern Mexico, black bears live in a variety of wooded and swampy habitats with dense cover. These omnivores eat plants, fruits, nuts, insects, fish and mammals. In Minnesota, they are concentrated more in northern counties. Mostly solitary, bears roam long distances in the fall to find food— especially acorns and other nuts—to increase fat reserves for winter. Mothers give birth to and nurse 2-5 cubs that are born during hibernation. During a bear’s hibernation, its body temperature drops about 10 – 12 degrees and its metabolic rate is reduced by about half.
There are twice as many black bears as all other bear species combined. Many populations are actually increasing. American black bear populations are healthy, but threats include conflicts with people.