Black Bear Field Guide Update

Last month I posted a field guide to the bears here at the Museum. With the amount of shedding and sun bleaching that’s been going on with the bears’ coats, a quick update on the ?condition and state of their current pelage, in regards to their identification, is in order.

Mimi has undergone a drastic change in coloration, she’s now a near negative image of her former self. Where she was black she is now brown and where she was once brown, her shoulders and hips, she is mostly black.

Since last month, Mimi has reversed her color scheme, and grown rather shaggy in the process.

Gus, the only male in the compound, has grown shaggy along with Mimi but you can still see traces of his “blond highlights.” Whether his characteristic highlights will be present after his molt remains to be seen.

You can still see the half dozen or so clumps of blond hairs on his shaggy, shedding coat in this shot of Gus cooling off on a sweltering hot July day.

Regardless of his coloration or condition of his coat, Gus’ overall large size and proportions are the best clues to his identity among the other bears.

Ursula looks less shaggy than she did last month, but still retains her overall brown coloration.

Ursula looks a bit neater than she did a month ago. She still holds on to her brown coloration, although it appears sun-bleached.

Yona has lost most of the punk hairdo she sported 4 weeks ago, but she’s still the smallest bear in the compound.

Although her spike hairdo is all but gone, Yona is still the wee bear in the enclosure and easy to spot, most of the time.

What about Virginia? Virginia is still pretty much the same as she was, all black coat (a bit shaggy at the moment, but all black) with a large white “V” on her chest, and a “leave me alone” attitude.

That’s about it. Hope this helps you to sort out who’s who when visiting with the bears. I’ll keep you posted if there are any further drastic changes to the bears’ appearances.


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