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North American Black Bear

Born 2000

Not long after we began construction on the sanctuary back in 2000 we learned of a 5 month old black bear cub in need of a home.  He came to us with big trust issues and a bad attitude.  Tenaya spent the first two months with us toggling between sucking on a bottle and trying to sharpen his claws and canines on our bodies.  He also ducked and cried anytime we moved our arms too quickly and was generally very distrustful of all humans.  Over the months we were able to settle him down, make him feel loved and safe and he began to trust us enough to crawl in our laps for his bottle and to become social with his caregivers.  Now that he is a big bear those days of playing and holding him are long since gone.  He is a huge, powerful animal who could easily hurt any of us in play.  So now our interactions are protected, but he still loves the one-on-one attention and a bottle.  His favorite treat during training sessions is apple juice in a bottle. 


Tenaya is a little slower at picking up how to maneuver puzzles to get at apples but he loves simple games like bobbing for apples,  and hide and seek with nuts and berries.




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