Update: Bear Cubs Move Outside
This update is provided by Mila Danilova from IFAW's Russian Office and follows a previous post about the same bears: Russian Bear Cubs: Growing Up Together.
In April the cubs were transferred to an open air enclosure. They were divided into two groups, where the first group's members were Olya, Natasha, Yura, Slava, Sasha and Seva. They live in the enclosure den-house. The second group consisted of the rest of the cubs - Patricia, Petya, Polina, Nadya, Nania and Nina, they live on the veranda of the observation house.
They are all beginning to gain the necessary experience that will help them in the near future as "free bears".
The cubs are now fed twice a day: at 9 a.m and at 9 p.m. All of them try reluctantly to taste germs of various grass and trees buds and they play a lot of time. It's very important that the cubs have a certain fear against man; even if humans come to feed them. The cubs first hide themselves hurriedly in their “dens”, so we had time to pour the porridge in bowls. Then when the cubs feel hungry and the fear of man gone they run out to their bowls.
It's a bit of a mess, amongst the fighting and the eating. Seva is the smallest in the group, but he bravely forces his position in front of a bowl every day. If anyone tries to approach him, he immediately dashes, snarls and uses forepaws to get intruders away. All the cubs eat well. When they finish with their own portion they try to take some food from a nearby comrade's bowl, sometimes it passes well, but usually it results in a scuffle.
They don’t go any further than 100-200 meters from the house during the day, but are gradually learning and perceiving their territory. One morning Petia caught a bumblebee and was greatly surprised when it stung him on the nose. He wasn't able to forgive this prank and tried to chew the bumblebee. At last the bumblebee set itself free, dried off a bit, and flew along.
Natasha was seen limping on her left forefoot, due to a splinter in a pad of her finger. In the forest this happens from time to time and usually slips by after a while. A day or two - and they're healthy again.