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Sun Bear Enrichment (Tree Climbing Bear)


You may look at these photos and think, so what, bears often climb trees. That may be so in the wild, but this is the first time for Ken our female sun bear!


Ken and her mate Jun have been residents at the Honolulu Zoo since 1977. They have been living in this particular habitat for several years and have never tried climbing the trees.


Seeking to enrich Ken's life her keeper thought she would try and entice Ken to use her magnificent claws. Jun wasn't able to participate in this activity because of his impaired eyesight.


Using a peanut butter paste, her keeper put smears of it higher and higher up into the tree until finally Ken found herself in a whole new place. She had absolutely no problem getting down when she finished her treat and readily climbed the tree again the next morning.