Monday, February 6, 2023
Feb. 6, 2023

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Fern is Woodland Park Zoo’s newest grizzly cub

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SEATTLE—Woodland Park Zoo’s newest female grizzly bear cub is named after a classic Pacific Northwest plant: Fern.

Fern, named by two longtime donors of the zoo, arrived at the zoo Oct. 3 after her mother was euthanized in Montana by the state’s wildlife officials.

The cub’s mother had a history of visiting a home with unsecured food and killing chickens that were protected by electric fencing. The bear continued to have conflicts with humans, despite being relocated twice and attempts to deter her with rubber bullets and noise-making devices, according to Woodland Park Zoo.

Fern was born last winter and was too young to survive on her own, according to the zoo. Bear cubs learn survival skills from their mother, and brown or grizzly bears are not rehabilitated.

Fern is in quarantine and will go through behavioral training once moved to the bear habitat to acquaint her to caretakers, other bears and the outdoor habitat.

The grizzly cub joins another female grizzly bear cub named Juniper, who was rescued earlier this year from Anchorage, and a 28-year-old male grizzly named Keema from Washington State University’s Bear Center.

According to the zoo, the exhibit for the bears include a stream and swimming pool with live fish, tree stumps for scratching posts, novel scents and a cave for winter naps. Brown bears are generally solitary creatures in nature and only come together during mating season and in concentrated feeding areas like salmon spawning sites.

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