Black Bear Complex

Phase II of the Black Bear cub facilities began in earnest in mid-July 2013. This two-acre Black Bear Complex will provide long-term, outdoor enclosures for healthy young bears and will include three large “yards” of about 1/2 acre each, all inside a 15-foot, double-fenced secure buffer.

Site of future bear cub facility:

Walking the perimeter with Dr. Dave:

Week of July 15:

An excavator is at the Center, clearing the perimeter for the large Black Bear cub facility.

The 40' entrance area is cleared.

The crew then worked on clearing the perimeter -- this view is from the front left of the entire complex to the back corner. Essentially, this will be the buffer hallway to the left of enclosure #1.

Looking back down the hill to the front corner of the bear cub facility:

Looking along the back corridor: 

The final corridor [right-hand side, closest to the Center] is cleared:

The corridors to the two towers are now clear!

Week of July 22

The crew packs gravel onto the three main outer corridors:

Week of August 5

Tower construction:

Conduit arrives -- we will be cam-ready!

The demo-gator arrives:

We'll have about a week to test-drive this gator and to see if it will work well for our purposes!

Week of August 12

Lots of digging to lay conduit and water lines!

Week of August 25

Looking out from the second floor of Tower 1:

Dr. Dave on the top floor:

Looking into enclosure #1 -- pool has been delivered but is not fitted yet:

Early September:

Supplies are delivered:

Tower construction continues:

Automatic waterers are installed:


Tower #2 has stairs!

No stairs [yet] to the top level ... but there is a trap door:

Surveying the enclosure #2 and enclosure # boundary from Tower #2:

Enclosure #1:

Hey!  Someone has been here already!

Wall construction begins! The inner enclosure fences will be nine to 10 feet tall and will have suspended four-foot plastic panels on the inner walls of the fence to prevent climbing.

To show scale:

Tubs are fitted and tested! Each holds 375 gallons of water.

Late September

Dr. Dave tests out an installed bear den: 

Completed den!

Automatic waterers are installed:

Stairs to the upper level of the tower are complete!

Several staff members came along to check out the view:

Surveying the enclosure -- what a view!

Hello, down there!

Dr. Kristin and Dr. Dave on top of the tower:

Some of the fencing has been installed:

Including the underground portion:

Early October

The fence-side of enclosure #3 is going up ... 

Looking into enclosure #1 from the tower:

Tower #1:

IT Guru Kurt is pulling cable for cams ... 

Hanging out in enclosure #1:

Some of the anti-climbing material is placed:

In the back of enclosure #1, looking back to the tower:

The perimeter fence is starting to go up (by enclosure #1):


Most of the side wall of Bear Complex enclosure #3 is up:

Back corridor:

Looking down the side corridor by Bear Complex enclosure #1:

Some swimming tub modifications:

Looking into Bear Complex enclosure #3 from the tower:

Looking into Bear Complex enclosure #2:

The towers, from a distance:

Late October:

Nearly completed tower:

Looking into enclosure #2:

The front part of the complex is taking shape:


Work continues on the Black Bear Complex. After a meeting on November 4, the Kjellstrom & Lee crew and Wildlife Center team estimate that the complex will be finished at the end of the month.

The acclimation areas of each enclosure are coming along:

Inside the acclimation area of enclosure #1:

Completed tower!


Corridor on right side of complex (bear enclosure #3 to the left)

Back corridor:

Transition (acclimation) area of enclosure #1:

Transition area of enclosure #3:

Late November

Transition area:

Gate between enclosure #1 and #2:

Erecting the wall of Enclosure #2:

November 22: A big day!

IT Guru Kurt was here -- all day -- to work on pulling wire and configuring bear cams!

One of the cams for the Bear Complex!

Installation on the top of Tower #1 (and Kurt doesn't really like heights or ladders ...)

Ta-da!  Two cams installed at the top of Tower #1.

A reminder on the general layout of the Bear Complex:


These are from the cam placed at the front right corner of Tower #1 -- which looks into enclosure #2.

Zooming into the tub:

Enclosure #1 (still taken from the same cam!)

Taken from the cam placed at the back left corner of tower #1 -- over-looking enclosure #1:

Zooming into a den:


Looking into enclosure #2 (same cam):

With both cams placed at opposite corners on Tower #1, we have great coverage of bear enclosure #1 and #2 -- where the 17 bears will soon be housed. These pan, tilt, zoom cams are the same model as our "Buddy Cam" ... and we're not done yet!  More cams to come. We look forward to seeing 17 bears running around in the Bear Complex soon. Take the Bear Complex tour -- via Critter Cam!