I've been trying to get this post done since early last week, but with seeing the Cubs most of last week and my Birthday yesterday, I'm just now finishing it and posting.
So Yes! The Bear Cubs are out! I can not even express the amount of cuteness that's going on with these two! They are a complete delight and and joy! I am so happy to be able to know these babies and be able to watch them grow up. I feel very blessed. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to see Bear Cubs and following their journey has and will be an incredible experience.
The Cubs were let out into their enclosure for public viewing last Monday and were on view from 10a-noon and 2-4p, with a bottle and nap break in between. That will probably be the schedule again this week, unless they choose to extend or shorten times, pending the Cubs needs.
I watched these babies both viewing times Monday and in the morning Tues, Wed, and Thurs. I seriously can not get enough of them (and I'm not the only one)! I'm still going through my photos and video from Monday. The babies were very active, exploring their new home, running and chasing, rolling and playing, climbing, they were all over the place and it was great fun for them and me! I think I captured alot of their "firsts", and look forward to sharing them. Check back for my next post later today.
By the end of the day on Monday, the babies were showing signings of tuckering out. They had too much fun and excitement! This low energy moment came just near 4p, and I was lucky to capture them sitting side by side.
I had been referring to them as Dezi and June, in relation to the areas they were found in, Valdez and Juneau. I was surprised and very happy to learn the Keepers were calling them the full names. I hope the Zoo allows these names to become official. With every new arrival, whether born there or transferred, I fear the worst in naming, ever since poor Tucker Hippo was named after a ballplayer and that trend took off. So sad and disrespectful. Animals deserve names that mean something to them, their species, or at the very least a name that fits.
I have posted a few videos so far. I'll link the first one, if you want more Cub Cuteness, you can click on my user name you can view the others. I'll also add more today. ... The Cubs first order of play was the trio of tree trunks! So much action on these, they showed them attention all week! Little Girl Juneau was quick to start stripping the bark off everything she could lol! They had a ball!
Here's the initial fun https://youtu.be/AW3TdslxLV4
Sharing these Cubs is one reason for this post, the other is I have found it very curious that the Zoo has not taken the opportunity to talk about these Cubs in detail. What I mean is, not only is it exciting they are here, but their journey is one that should promote awareness. They should have posted about their acquisition, as soon as it was secured. I finally posted about it two weeks after reading news articles out of Alaska. The Zoo first mentioned it, that same day, most likely after getting wind that I had broke the news.
I haven't looked at the Zoo Facebook since last week, but as of Monday evening, there was still no mention of the Cubs, since that day more than two weeks ago (after my blog post), and the Cubs were now out. In my opinion they have really dropped the ball, following these Cubs journey, from the Alaska Zoo, to quarantine, to their first day out. They are going to be popular and posting about them every step of the way and about their story would have been wonderful for visitors to follow and a great way to spread the message they represent. I'm not surprised, but it saddens me sometimes the missed opportunities to share and educate people.
Education is something the Zoo puts forth as part of their Mission, yet they fall short in doing so. For years I blogged about Awareness Days that I'd visit the Zoo and find there is no information being put forth, either in display or talks. In the last few years, they have seemed to step it up a bit, but not enough in my opinion compared to the plight of so many Animals. They did a good one for Rhino Day a few years back, but then on Thursday, there was no evidence at the Zoo that it was World Lion Day. Lions are having a really tough time these days with poaching, canned hunting, and other evils that threaten their species, and nothing to build awareness about that. Maybe at the Keeper talk it was mentioned, but what, those talks reach a couple dozen people, when an average of four thousand walk through the gates each day? There needs to be some displays at Entry Village circle, appropriately outside the Education Building.
As I expected, these babies are very popular. Not only did a see a few of the same people come by to see them, there was a continued heavy stream of visitors lined up along the barrier for extended time watching with smiles and more comments of how cute they are than I can count. Also as expected, there were too many people dangling their kids over the barriers. The first one within ten minutes of the Cubs being out for the first time. UG.
Anyone who know me, or is familiar with my blog, this issue is something I write alot about and did in regard to the renovation of this exhibit.
I have watched and called attention to this issue for over six years now, and the Zoo fails to do little to keep the Animals safe. I have yet another post in detail about Barrier Abuse at the Zoo, so I won't digress too much here, other than to say, the Zoo had the opportunity before these Cubs went on view to secure this barrier railing with a deterrent and they didn't. I pray these babies stay safe, because no one at the Zoo seems to care about safety. You can see that by the photo I posted, the person over the barrier is in front of the Zoo Security Ranger and he wasn't the only Staffer who this happened in front of. There was one Docent on Thursday who said something to someone, but that was after three previous days of nothing. I have heard that Management allegedly tells Staff not to say anything about certain misbehavior, so I have to wonder if that applies to dangling over the barriers of code red Animals, because I see this every visit. The times I have reported it and Security has got there in time, they and Zoo Management seem to make light of the issue when talking to visitors. I don't know, I think its as serious an issue as I make it out to be. Anyway, I'm not trying to hate on the guy (Ranger), he's nice to me, as are the Security Guards, Docents, and many Staffers, but MY mission is to document issues, and if anyone is not putting forth their best to be aware of misbehavior that could endanger the lives of any of the Animals, I'm going to be vocal about it. I'm sorry, but the Animals safety and well being is MY priority.
Anyone, especially those employed by the Zoo should have their eyes on barriers at all times when near exhibits. If they aren't doing that simple thing to keep the Animals safe, they need to ask themselves, ? How would you feel if you missed it or didn't say something and someone fell in resulting in the death of an Animal, when the target team shoots to kill in an effort to save a human? Because that is exactly what would happen.