Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bitty bear

The bear cub above - depicted in April in "formal" and "informal" portraits - was a mere 2 1/2 months old and 4lbs in weight, but more of a handful than he looks. "Aldo," as he is called (more photos here, video here), was put in the care of the Oregon Zoo by the state's Dept. of Fish and Wildlife after he was discovered alone in the woods by a Medford family. The agency has taken the opportunity to remind the public that "rescuing" the animal was the wrong thing to do: "We believe this bear was not orphaned. If you see a young animal alone, leave it where it is. It's likely that the mother is nearby. Most animals leave their young to forage or hunt." The little guy is now too accustomed to humans to release into the wild when he gets older. The black bear exhibit at the Oregon Zoo has a full house, so Aldo has been placed at the NEW Zoo in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he joins 7-year-old Winnie. Before he was relocated earlier this month, Oregon Zoo keeper Michelle Schireman was tasked with caring for him, which involved a feeding every 3 hours. He spent his days at the zoo and went home with her at night, confined by a puppy gate. "It sounded like a gremlin, like there was something possessed in my kitchen," describes Schireman. When her 2 dogs approached the little bear, "[He stood on his back legs] to look big and scary, curled back his lip, and made a chuffing sound. The dogs would back away and bark." Aldo will be even more intimidating when he reaches his adult size - a possible 6' and 600lbs.
Plenty of adorable animals in the Cabinet:

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