BLACK BEARS sybils den
Welcome to Sybil's Den.  This site is meant for information purposes  on raising  pet exotics animals based on my experience.  There are care sheets for black bears, foxes, raccoons, emus, farm animals and domestic animals.   Also please find a very informative message board with a lot of great members.

For some of the species of animals I have or had information on, You will find their photo gallery.

Home Page
Care Sheets
Fox Breeders
Fox Q&A
Message Board
Pet Poems
Pet Steer
State Regulations
Lite A Candle
Vet Listings


                                              Benny the  Black Bear

Benny is a black bear that was born in captivity in January 2002. Benny weighed about 10 pounds when we bought him.  He was very calm and easy to care for compared to Sybil.  Benny came from excellent breeders.

When Benny was pulled from his mother the breeders bottle fed and handled him three w
benny the bear cubeeks prior to the auction.
Sybil came from a breeder where the breeder pulled the cubs the same day or day before the auction. This makes a world of difference in bottle feeding them as a young cub and raising them.

When we got Benny, he had a lot of light brown to blonde fur. As he got older, his fur begin to turn all black, like most  common black bears are.

Benny was very easy to bottle feed. (unlike Sybil) He was very patient in between his bottles.
There were times, Benny could even hold his own bottle for awhile.
When bottle breaking time come, he was very easy.  (again, unlike Sybil)
Prior to bottle breaking, I begin feeding Benny fruits. 

I knew I had to do a introductory with them.  At that time Sybil was a year old.
Obviously, much larger than Benny. I didn't know how Sybil would react with
a tiny cub.  I started the introductory by letting them see each other, but, not in any contact. I was happy to see how Sybil accepted him.  However, I still would not let Benny near Sybil. (better to be safe than sorry). About a week or so later, I put Benny on the ground where Sybil was.  She was still fine with him, and seemed to have liked him.  However, Benny was afraid of Sybil. As Benny grew a little more, his fear seemed to diminish.

By the time Benny grew even more, maybe about 40lbs(can't remember exactly) he finally felt comfortable with Sybil.  They begin to play.  However,
I did not put Benny in the Sybil's pen until I was positive they were fine together and Benny was bigger.  I was more comfortable supervising for awhile.

Overall, Benny is a friendly black bear. He loves attention and loves to eat. Even though Sybil and Benny are  friendly, they still could have wild animal instincts.  It is best to be very cautious when in the pen with them. Benny has never showed any type of aggression.  His size is intimating though.  

Benny likes to be petted and loves attention and loves to hand fed.  Benny is very content no matter what.  He is happy in his enclosure.

Even though Benny seems to be very polite (especially for a bear) I do not let anyone have close contact with him.

Benny loves to eat, sometimes too much.
His favorite snacks are milk bones, marrow bone treats, raw eggs (he eats shell and all).
He gets a little of it once a day, that is their bedtime snack.

As a main diet, he gets a mixture of  dry dog food, lettuce, eggs, oil.
He or Sybil will not eat dog food without a mixture.

Then in conjunction, he eats watermelon, corn on the cob, grapes, lettuce, mostly fruits and veggies. 
Some foods have to be alternated.  Benny and Sybil seem to like changes.
They also get fish when available. They love fish.

Benny's coat changes during seasons. However, Benny's coat don't make as much a dramatic change as Sybil's coat does.
In the mid spring, his fur begins to shed a little, but, he still has a beautiful coat.  By early summer, his coat sheds more. By summer, his color changes more to a brown highlight.  The fur texture seems to remain almost the same all year. However, his fur is shorter during the summer months.  Benny's fur is not as coarse as Sybil's fur is in the summer months. 

In the early fall, his coat will begin a transition.  His fur starts to grow and most of the brown highlights are gone by then.    By late fall and especially early winter his fur makes a complete change to a deep black with blue highlights and very shiny.

When Benny was a year old, he did hibernate with Sybil.  I felt bad for Benny, because at that time, he didn't seem to want to hibernate as much as Sybil did.   Even at that age, Benny was such a patient and easy going bear cub.  Every time I checked on them in their den, Benny was awake, just sitting there next to Sybil.  I gave Benny a bunch of toys, that seemed to make him happy. sybil and benny the black bears

There are times when Benny and Sybil would come out of their den during the winter.  They would play in the snow for awhile.  If the weather was really cold, they stayed in their den.

Benny adjusted to his second year of hibernation very well. He started making the nest. The nest was so big, they both are completely covered up.  Benny is now  in charge of making the nest.   All I have to do is put about 3-4 bales of straw in their den, and Benny takes it from there.

Their den is a two story. Their preference is on the second floor for hibernation. Prior to hibernation, Benny makes a giant nest for the both of them fit.  All I have to do is, bring in a couple bales of straw, and Benny does his work with it.  Their top den has steps that lead to their enclosure.

In summer months, they use the downstairs to sleep or sometimes nap (depending on how hot it is outside) The downstairs is much cooler for them.  They also have a giant fan to help keep them cooler.

Benny and Sybil are very bonded. They sleep together, play together
and are very happy black bears. They never have to worry about food and safety. I honestly believe they both are very happy. Of course once in a while they get into little spats. They don't last long though, and forgive each other quickly.

I have never seen Benny take food away from Sybil. Benny is actually a pretty polite bear.

Wild black bears are generally solitary animals. Sybil and Benny seem to enjoy each others company.

Black bears are very strong animals and can unintentionally hurt us. This is another reason why it is not recommended to rough house with bear cubs.  Some people will do this and not realize that  when the cub grows up, they expect this. 

Black bears are definitely NOT for everyone.  If you are considering a bear or any exotic, it is very important that you do very extensive  research prior to getting any exotic.  Black bears CANNOT be raised like a dog.  Bears and other exotic animals need special care and a lot of understanding.

Black bears are expensive to keep.  They require a very large pen with running water. Bears love water.
They also require a lot of activity.  Bears can become bored very easy. Keeping  bears or any animal in a small enclosure is asking for problems.

NEVER, let any friends or family have close contact with bears. I am trying very hard to help everyone understand a bears behavior and what they can be capable of.  Sadly, there are people that will take a bears behavior for granted.  This problem only contributes to bans for all exotic animals nationwide.

One problem is, there are a lot of people out there, that feel that all exotic animals belong in the wild, and not in private homes.  But, if these people realized what many of these animals have to endure in the wild, maybe they would think differently.  Not all owners are negligent.  Everyone seems to hear the bad and never the good from the responsible owners.

I am not saying that everyone should own an exotic animal.  Only people that have a great love for animals,
and really understand exotic animals behavior, have the proper facility's and time to spend with them.
If you don't have much experience with other animals, I don't recommend a black bear.

Many states have banned black bears. With that being said, please take a lot of thought about owning black bears.
If you buy a black bear or any exotic that is not legal in your state, and your DNR/Game commission finds out,
the animal/s will be confiscated and killed. Not to mention a fine to the owners.  Also, taking any animal from the wild in most states is illegal.  If caught,  the animal/s will be killed.  It only takes one person to find out you own an illegal animal to report you.  Also, owning an illegal animal is extremely hard or almost impossible to find a vet to treat the animal. 

Thank you for looking at Benny's page.
I hope you found this info somewhat helpful.  
Stop back often for updates.

Do you have questions about black bears or other exotic animals and domestic animals?
If you are looking for more information on just about any animal?
Please visit  Sybil's Message Board

Feel free to join. There is a lot of good exotic animal information as well as domestic animals.  You will find a lot of great members that are helpful.


For more information about black bears read the   care sheet