Awww, baby bears! Who can resist a baby bear? Not me. And there are not very many opportunities to observe baby bears frolicking about. So when I saw the billboard and got a personal recommendation from a fellow camper, I just had to go visit Bear Country in South Dakota.
I remembered when I was kid my family visited Lion Country in California where the animals have huge tracts of land to live on just as if they were in the wild. Well, at least that’s how I remember it. I got to sit on a baby elephant and I’ll never forget the feel of his skin and his prickly whisker like hairs.
At first I wasn’t sure if Bear Country would be ok. Zoos make me sad sometimes depending on the conditions. So first a few facts about Bear Country:
- they have 250 acres of land for the animals to roam
- almost all of the animals are born in captivity, they are not taken from the wild
- occasionally they will accept an orphaned young animal that needs to be rescued
- you have to keep your windows up when you drive through
- some smaller and baby animals are exhibited in “Babyland” which you can go through on foot and there are no glass enclosures (much better for photography than trying to photograph through your car window)
Needless to say, I didn’t get any good photographs of most of the animals due to the car window problem. And I wasn’t so sure about it at feeding time when a truck rolled through literally shovelling out hamburger buns to the bears. The bears were pretty excited about it. I just hope they see the odd salmon in their lifetime. The hamburger buns can’t be that good for them. Then again, we eat them and they’re not that good for us either.
Babyland was a different story photographically and it was a delight to watch the baby bears running around playing seemingly oblivious to their audience. Just look at those feet!
This little guy appears to be hiding, but he was just taking a little pause before quickly climbing up the tree, and I mean quickly!
They have some other smaller animals in babyland and I captured this red fox just as he awoke from a long nap.