During the past two months, the Black Bear cubs have become much more active and have foraged for food more frequently throughout the day. The reason for this increase in activity and appetite is "hyperphagia", a process that Black Bears go through in fall. During hyperphagia, Black Bears will excessively eat to build up the fat reserves they need to make it through winter torpor (similar to hibernation); in the wild, a Black Bear can gain between two to four pounds a day during fall months. At the Center, the rehab team is currently delivering 120 pounds of food a day to the bear cubs, split into two large meals. About 44 pounds of those meals are proteins; at this time of year, much of that protein comes from acorns and other nuts.
The increased activity due to hyperphagia makes fall one of the best times to see Black Bears in the wild. Similarly, this is also one of the best times to view the cubs on cam. Tune in to Critter Cam #2 throughout the day to look for the Center's bear cubs as they forage for food. The bear cubs currently have access to both yard #2 and yard #3, so they may be out of view at times.
Check out some of the staff photos from this week!
All five cubs foraging for food in the morning.
Black Bear Cubs Double Yellow and White Tag enjoying some potatoes.
Black Bear cub White Tag on the search for more food.