Three little bears go wild at Woburn

Woburn's one-year-old bear clubs are enchanting visitors
Woburn's one-year-old bear clubs are enchanting visitors

Three North American black bear babies are busy causing mischief in their spacious new home in the Kingdom of the Carnivores drive-through enclosure at Woburn Safari Park.

Having recently emeregd from winter hibernation, cheeky cubs Alabama, Kaska and Sekani celebrated their first birthdays this month by venturing out into the main reserve with their four-year-old mother Phoenix.

Woburn is the only place in the UK where the public can see this bear species, and the trio are the first to be born at the Park in the past 18 years.

The cubs’ first day out in the reserve was a success, with Kaska in particular showing her adventurous side by immediately climbing several trees. Sekani was initially less confident about moving, but is now happily exploring the reserve and meeting the adult bears with her siblings, under the protective eye of mum.

Lucky visitors can now catch them napping, climbing, playing, and even doing forward rolls.

Keepers are expecting to see their playful antics wreak havoc on their new habitat, as the cubs can often be quite destructive when it comes to plants and trees.

The young bears had previously been living inside a ground-level den in an enclosed half-acre pen, so they could sleep, grow and bond with their mum.

Senior keeper Ben Davies said: “Now they’re becoming more active and independent, it’s the right time to let them enter and explore the main reserve. Our bears live wild and enjoy a beautiful parkland environment, which is very close to their own natural habitat.”

The cubs were initially thought to all be female, however keepers now suspect that two could be male as they have grown noticeably larger than the third. The bears are given a special diet, suited to their omnivorous nature, with a variety of fruit, meat, fish, nuts, protein and carbohydrates.