Two “Bear-y” Special Experiences at the Zoo

Are you ready to get a little closer to some bears? On Saturday, September 21, 2013, the Palm Beach Zoo will launch the “Black Bear Experience” and the “Teddy Bear Affair.” Come join Lewis and Clark, the North American black bear brothers, during the “Black Bear Experience.” The interactive encounter and education program gives guests the opportunity to safely feed the bears and learn about bear conservation. At the “Teddy Bear Affair,” children are invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal for their annual health check-up by Zoo veterinary staff members.

Bears are omnivorous, so they love honey. During the “Black Bear Experience,” guests can feed the sweet treat to Lewis and Clark in protected contact, while learning about bear conservation. Guests can also go behind-the-scenes in the bear habitat.

“Lewis and Clark are excellent ambassadors for their species,” said Nancy Nill, Associate Curator at the Zoo. “The brothers are popular with Zoo guests, so we are proud to offer the unique, up-close experience where guests will learn more about them, see if they are ‘smarter than your average bear,’ participate in a training session and then reward the bears by feeding them honeycomb.”

The “Black Bear Experience” is a $50 donation per person (ages ten and up), which does not include regular Zoo admission. Pre-registration is required, and experiences are offered on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. with a limit of four guests per group. To register, visit and fax, mail or e-mail in the registration form.

The 12-year-old bear brothers are originally from Maine, and have been at the Palm Beach Zoo since 2001. 

Teddy bears are stuffed with love, and it’s time for their annual check-up at the Palm Beach Zoo’s “Teddy Bear Affair.” Children are invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal to this “bear-y” special event.  The Palm Beach Zoo’s Veterinary Team will be available to perform check-ups on our furry stuffed friends. All activities will take place at the North American Black Bear Habitat.

“Teddy bears are a fun way to teach younger guests about bear conservation,” said Nill. “Although our veterinary staff members typically work on real bears, having them care for stuffed animals allows them to connect with children.”

Additional activities will include:

  • 10 – 10:15 am
    • American black bear enrichment
  • 10 am – 2 pm
    • Veterinarian Dress-up Station — try on scrubs, surgical caps, masks and snap a pic
    • Bear Cub Coloring Contest — enter your masterpiece for a chance to win a special surprise
    • Conservation Station – Interactive activities teach how to protect bears in the wild
  • 10:30 – 11 am
    • Teddy Bear Snack Shack — learn to eat healthy food options like the Zoo’s American black bears
  • 11 am – 2 pm
    • Teddy Bear Clinic is open for business
  • 11:30 am - Noon
    • ?Baby Bear Nursery — what’s it like to care for a newborn bear
  • Noon – 12:15 pm
    • Move and Groove — get pumped up for the black bear keeper talk
  • 12:30 – 12:45 pm
    • American black bear keeper talk & training session

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