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Black Bear - Ursus americanus

Black bears come in a variety of colors, including black, rust, various shades of brown, and even white; and can be found throughout North America. Brown bears include grizzlies and Kodiak (believed by some to be the same species). Once common in California, the last grizzly was killed in 1922. Black bear populations in North America are estimated to be around 200,000; down from an estimated 2 million at the time European explorers first arrived.

Baby_BearDOB: February, 2010
FCZS: 09/03/2010
Sex: Male
Weight: 260 lbs.

One of our newest additions found his way to the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary due to an all too familiar story:

Some people were feeding bears regularly in the area around Fallen Leaf campgrounds. The mother bear was fed so regularly that she was entirely dependent on handouts. Eventually she became so brazen in her search for food to feed her cub that she slapped a person in a tent. Fish and Game darted the mother and brought her in to their Rancho Cordova facility with her cub still clinging to her side. Due to the fact that this was not her first infraction and the need to test for rabies, Fish and Game was required to euthanize her. The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary was asked to accept her cub to prevent him from being euthanized as well.

While at Fish and Game he was neutered and his blood-work performed. He was small enough that he could be transported in a dog crate. He was then moved to our quarantine pen pending the results of his tests. He will be introduced to his new home and our other bears in the weeks and months ahead.

Updates from Zoo Keeper Amy

April 1, 2011 - Henry has moved! He is officially living in his “big boy bear” exhibit. After just a couple of weeks, Henry has gradually made his way down the long hallway past the adult bears (who were safely locked away). It took lots of courage for him get by one in particular; our only female, Tahoe.

Now, it’s true that mother bears are extremely bonded to their cubs. They will nurture and protect them at all costs. But, Tahoe has never been a mother and it’s not really her style to pretend to like little ones…or big ones for that matter. She is pretty aggressive to the other bears except her roomie, Sequoia whom she’s grown up with. There have been a few occasions in the wild where cubs will be “adopted” by another sow for one reason or another but, that is not common. And again, Tahoe isn’t the maternal type. But once Henry realized that she could not “get him” he became more confident to move past her and venture out into the awaiting playground that would be his new “territory”.

Henry’s been having the best time climbing trees, digging holes and playing in the pool. He’s even started coming nose to nose (through the protective wire of course) with the other bears, Tahoe included! She seems to be tolerating him much more but every now and then gives him a snort and chomp of the jaws to remind him who’s boss.

Be sure to join us on Saturday, 16 April 2011 to celebrate Bear Day! Hooray for Henry! There will be lots of activities and excellent information on bears and how to keep them wild. But the best part of all, you’ll get to see Henry. J

bear martyDOB: Winter, 1996
FCZS: 11/22/03
Sex: Male
Weight: 400 lbs.

Found wounded from a gunshot, Marty was rehabilitated and eventually found his way to the California Department of Fish and Game.

He is the only bear at Folsom that was rescued as an adult.

Along with “roommate” Woody he was able to move into the expanded black bear exhibit which will be his permanent home.


bear sequoiaDOB: January, 1998
FCZS: 10/2/98
Sex: Male
Weight: 515 lbs

Sequoia’s early experiences are unknown.

He was dropped off anonymously at an animal rehabilitation center near Tulare, California as a cub.

Though not related, he and Tahoe have basically grown up together and share one of the three areas in the black bear exhibit.


bear tahoeDOB: January 1998
FCZS: 10/2/98
Sex: Female
Weight: 310 lbs.

Tahoe’s mother, apparently injured and limping, along with two cubs, had been seen near a campground at Lake Tahoe, California.

Later the cubs were found alone and begging for food. The siblings were rescued and Tahoe joined the bears here in Folsom.



bear woodyDOB: Winter 2001
FCZS: 11/22/0303
Sex: Male
Weight: 429 lbs.

As a cub, Woody came to live at a California Fish and Game facility after his mother was destroyed as a “problem bear” in the Homewood, California area. He stayed at the Nimbus facility, along with “roommate” Marty, until the expansion of the black bear exhibit at Folsom was completed.