1. What are the bears' names?
Judge Joy Reynolds "Joy"; Judge Sue Sloan "Lady"
2. How old are they?
Joy was born on January 27, 2001; Lady was born on January 31, 2002.
3. 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.
4. What do they eat?
Joy and Lady eat two meals a day consisting of a specially formulated omnivore diet and raw protein sources like fish, supplemented with fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, coconut, apples, and peaches in the morning and vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, sweet potatoes, and avocados in the evening.
5. How much do they weigh?
While their weight does fluctuate during the year, they are both full grown. Each bear typically weighs between 250 - 290 pounds.
6. Do they play together?
Yes, the bears are together all day long; however, at night they have separate sleeping quarters, but occasionally sleep together when the temperature drops.
7. Is Texas too hot for them?
The 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 also found naturally in Texas. Bears can adapt extremely well to their environment which allows them to live in many different parts of the country. We do realize that it does get hot during the days, which is why we work hard to make sure that they have shade and running water in their enclosures to cool them off.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Do they still drink Dr Pepper?
No; they do not. The practice of feeding Dr Pepper to bears was stopped in the mid-90's because the sugar was bad for their teeth. We always work hard to do what is best for the bears and their health, adjusting the program accordingly.
11. 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 15-18 years; in long-term protected care they live to be between 22 and 25 years. The longer life expectancy in long-term protected care is due to the better diet and quality veterinary care that the bears receive.