What are the bears' names?
Judge Joy Reynolds "Joy"; Judge Sue Sloan "Lady"
How much do they weigh?
Joy weighs 280 pounds; Lady weighs 270 pounds. While their weight does fluctuate during the year, they are both full-grown.
How old are they?
Joy was born on January 27, 2001; Lady was born on January 31, 2002
Where are they from?
Both Joy and Lady came from the West Coast Game Park in Bandon, Oregon. Joy came to us in May 2001, and Lady came to us in June of 2002, both when they were four months old.
What do they eat?
Both bears eat two meals a day consisting of specially formulated omnivore food which we supplement with apples, oranges, peaches, carrots, sweet potatoes, corn, lettuce, and chicken. In addition to their main meals they are given special treats such as coconuts, peanut butter, jelly, as well as assorted nuts and berries. These treats are often hidden around the habitat as an enrichment activity.
Do they ever play together?
Yes, the bears are together all day long; however, at night they have separate sleeping quarters, but occasionally get to stay together when the temperature drops.
Isn't it too hot for them in Texas?
The North American Black Bear is found in the wild in 42 of the 50 states, from Alaska to Florida, and even in Mexico. Black bears are found naturally in Texas as well. Bears can adapt extremely well to their enviroment which allows them to live in many different parts of the country. We do realize that it does get hot during the day, which is why we do not take them out and work with them when it is extremely hot. We also work hard to make sure that they have shade and running water in their enclosures to cool them off.
Do the bears hibernate?
No; hibernation is caused by a drop in food supply. Since the bears receive a constant supply of food they have no reason to go into hibernation. However, during the winter time they do slow down, sleep more, and eat less.
Do they still have claws?
Yes; however, Black bears do not use their claws to attack. Instead they use them to dig and climb trees. We feel that it is in the best long term interest of the bears to keep their claws.
Do they still drink Dr Pepper?
No, they do not. The practice of feeding Dr Pepper to the bears was stopped in the mid 90's because the sugar is bad for their teeth. We always work hard to do what is best for the bears and adjust the program accordingly.
How long are you going to keep them?
We plan on keeping Joy and Lady for the remainder of their natural lives. In the wild, Black bears live between 18 and 20 years; in captivity they live between 22 and 25 years. The longer life expectancy in captivity is due to the better diet and quality veterinary care that the bears receive.