Woodland Park Zoo welcomes second bear cub in three months
The newest grizzly bear cub at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo officially has a name — Fern.
“We were honored to be asked to name little Fern, the zoo’s adorable new rescued grizzly cub! She is a living and breathing example of the critical wildlife conservation work that we have been supporting since the zoo first created the Living Northwest Conservation Program,” said Maryanne Tagney, a longtime supporter of Woodland Park Zoo’s conservation efforts.
Fern was born last winter and weighed approximately 95 pounds when she arrived at the zoo. She’s currently at the zoo’s hospital in quarantine.
Fern was brought in from Montana last month after its mother was euthanized by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. Fern’s mother reportedly had multiple encounters with humans, with officials citing the mother bear had killed pet chickens and even broke into a home, all while undeterred by multiple instances of both officials and neighbors using rubber bullets, paintballs, and noise-making devices to scare the bear away.
The death of the mother bear stemmed from a wave of bear conflicts that created safety concerns, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP).
Woodland Park Zoo’s Living Northwest conservation program aims to recover native wildlife populations, establish long-term ecological resilience in Pacific Northwest landscapes, and empower all people to be wildlife conservationists.
“As seen here and elsewhere, expanding human development and a dramatic reduction in wildlife habitat can push wildlife into a growing conflict with people,” Woodland Park Zoo’s Living Northwest press release read. “Their opportunities for avoiding us are becoming more scarce. The Living Northwest program aims to help people inhabiting urban, suburban, and rural areas better understand the needs and behaviors of local wildlife so that we can coexist safely and in harmony.”
Over the summer, another female bear cub, named Juniper, joined the Woodland Park Zoo after Alaska officials found the bear roaming alone on an air force base near Anchorage, Alaska. She traveled via Alaska Air Cargo and arrived at the zoo July 13.
Both bear cubs will be in the zoo’s Living Northwest Trail. Another bear, a 28-year-old grizzly named Keema, will also live in the bear habitat.