Come and join the Houston Zoo in celebrating our annual Bear Awareness Day on Saturday, March 8 . Also help us in welcoming the newest additions to our collection. Belle and Willow, 12-month old Black bear cubs, arrived at the Zoo in December of last year. They were both found orphaned in Maricopa, CA. Black bears are found in almost all of North America including East Texas. That’s right!! East Texas was once home to the Louisiana black bear but by the 1950’s the last native black bear had been killed in Polk County. In 1992 the Louisiana black bear, (Ursus americanus luteolus), was listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Today, populations are finding their way back to East Texas.
In 2005 the East Texas Black Bear Task Force was formed as a subcommittee of the Black Bear Conservation Coalition www.bbcc.org . The task force promotes the restoration of the black bear in its historic range of East Texas through education, research, and habitat management by bringing together individuals, organizations, and state and federal government representatives to support the recovery.
Meet our Carnivore Keepers when they demonstrate the safe way of camping and hiking in bear country. We will help you determine the difference between black and brown bears as well as show you what to do if you encounter a bear. Come and join us for Bear Awareness Day on Saturday March 8th from 10 to 3 and learn how bears play an integral role in nature and how we can help support their return to East Texas.
11:00 a.m. – Grizzly Bear Exhibit Keeper Skit- Hiking in bear country
2:00p.m. – Black Bear enrichment and keeper chat
Kids can experience how to forage for food like a bear and color a bear mask
Big Thicket National Preserve
Texas A&M Forest Service
Bio Facts Table- skulls and furs
Campsite displaying the safe way to camp in bear country
The Houston Zoo Commissary- displaying a variety of food that bears eat.