Hamilton, Numees & Tuk
Dawson & Knute
Image courtesy of MacCo Photo
Hamilton, Numees and Tuk all came to the Park as orphaned bear cubs. They have become too accustomed to people to be released back into the wild, and have found a permanent home at the Wildlife Park. Hamilton is names for Tony Hamilton, a well known provincial bear biologist.
Description: Black bears can vary in colour from black, any shade of brown, or even blond or steel blue! Black bears have a tapered snout, ears that tend to appear to be too large for their heads and short sharp curved claws that make tree climbing easier. From a distance, a black bear may look like a large dog.
Distribution: These animals prefer forests and densly wooded areas, but can be found in a variety of habitats all across Canada and the United States.
Diet: Black bears are omnivores, consuming a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables with only 10% of their diet being meat. A bear's diet will change noticably in the fall when these animals need to gain weight fast to survive the winter. In the Fall, a black bear can consume up to 20,000 calories a day!
Behaviour: The home range of a female will be smaller than that of a male, but a male's territory may cover many female's ranges. The cubs tend to stay with the mother for 2 years, leaving their mother to den on their own at the end of their second year. Black bears become defensive if a predator or person comes between them and their cubs or food. Be sure to hike in a responsible and sensible manner!
Image courtesy of Edna Park
Dawson and Knute came to the park in spring 2011, from the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. They are siblings and are orphaned cubs that will now call the Park home.
Description: The colour of a grizzly bear can vary from black to brown, or blond. The fur on the back of a grizzly bear can have white tips that makes them look "grizzled" (hence the name). The most distinguishable feature of a grizzly bear is their large shoulder hump, which is a mass of muscle and bone that helps to power their strong front legs when digging for food.
Distribution: Grizzly bears can be found in a wide variety of habitats across Canada and the United States, but they do prefer to live in forested habitats with a large water source nearby. Grizzly bears have a large home range (sometimes up to 1800 km2 in size!) in which they can forage for food, and find suitable shelter.
Diet: These animals are omnivores, eating 80-90% plant material and only 10% meat. A bear's food preference can change throughout the year depending on their needs, however, bears will consume more meat in the fall, when spawning salmon and trout are more easily available.
Behaviour: While there are many accounts of human/bear conflicts, these animals do prefer to be left alone. A grizzly bear will defend their territory, offspring or food when they feel threatened.
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