The bears were due for their immunizations, so we thought we’d share the process. We are happy to report that the bears are all as healthy as always.
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As much as possible, the bears at the Habitat participate voluntarily in their own medical care. We provide regular opportunities to participate in medical training in our specially-designed crate, and the bears almost always choose to join.
One member of our animal care team leads the session and connects with the bear and keeps his attention with a high reward food. At the same time, our veterinary team can move around the crate and inspect the bear, and, when necessary, administer medical care.
We offer these sessions several times a week, even if the bears are perfectly healthy (which they usually are!). All this practice means that when the time comes to provide care — like routine immunizations — the bears knows what to expect and his stress level doesn’t go up.
These sessions aren’t just critical for routine medical care — they’re also great mental and physical stimulation for the bear, and they serve to build the relationship between the bears and our animal care team.