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.

 Sybil the  Black Bear

Sybil is a  black bear that that was born in captivity January 15, bear cub
Sybil was legally adopted April 27, 2001.  At that time, she  weighed about 10 pounds.

Sybil is the first black  bear. At that time, we lacked some of the proper care of raising a bear cub. 
Most exotic animals, require different care, so our mission was to research to the proper feeding.   
We had a lot experience with many different species of animals.   We just had to figure out the "do's and don'ts" of raising a black bear.

It is obvious Sybil had to be bottle  fed.  We went to the local feed store and bought powder milk for her. we had to make sure there was enough  fat content in it.  Bears require a minimum of 25% fat content.

We did as much research  as we could find on  raising black bears,  but all we could find is raising black bears to be released in the wild.  of course this was a bit helpful on feeding her.  But when a bear is being raised to be released in the wild, there is not to be any human contact with these bears...  Only because they will become dependent  on people.

Our thoughts at that time, was to try and raise Sybil to be as friendly as possible.   I must admit, in the beginning, I almost felt that was not possible.  We spent a lot of time with Sybil. After many bites and scratches and a lot of work with Sybil, begin to understand we are not her enemy.  But, this took months for her understand this.

However, Sybil came from a breeder that pulled their cubs, the same day of selling her.  It was like caring for a bear cub from the wild. Sybil did not have any people contact until after we bought her.  
My work  with Sybil would have been a little easier, if the breeder would have pulled the cubs from momma a few weeks prior to selling her.  Like Benny's breeder did.

Sybil was very aggressive as a cub.  When she was hungry, she sure let me know.  When she was on more than one bottle, I had to have all bottle ready, and do a real quick switch.

Bottle breaking Sybil was very difficult.  Even though she was eating foods, she still wanted that bottle.
When I first started the bottle breaking, she got aggressive if I didn't give her a bottle.
I just started cutting back on the milk.  It took quite some time to get her weaned.

Black bears can be very intelligent and interesting animals, if raised properly.
Black bears are very intelligent animals, if given the chance.  Sybil understands many words (especially theblack bear in snow word "no"). Sybil was raised in our house her first year.  I had to keep her with me as much as possible to create a good bond with her. 

Sybil as most other animals, are curious and want to explore everything.
Sybil opened cupboards, refrigerator, oven door. I don't know how many times I cleaned up after her.

Sybil was NEVER Kept in any type of cage, this would have only defeated our goal with her. Sybil also had a lot of outdoor time.  I give her credit, because, she was good about doing her business outside.

However, in the process of bonding with her, was very spoiled in the house with us.
She had her favorite blanket and chair.  She would nap on her chair, and cover herself with her blanket.

Even though, Sybil might not have seemed like she was paying attention to what I was doing, she certainly was.  She picked up on everything I did.  She seen me get ice from the ice maker, work on the computer and mocked me.

Sybil did not hibernate her first year.  She loved playing in the snow and rolling around in the snow with the dogs. 

I will say, it was quite a learning experience for me.  but, again, black bears are a real challenge to raise. 

Sybil got along really good with all the dogs I had at the time.  She played with them, slept with them and even hunted with them.  Unfortunately , all the dogs she was raised with sadly crossed the rainbow bridge (most from old age). I know Sybil misses them. 

When Sybil was a year old, she was put in her pen. It was a sad day.  She had a difficult time adjusting to her new environment. That's when we decided to get Benny.  Sybil and Benny are very bonded now.  They sleep together, play together and are very happy.  In the wild, bears generally roam solo and don't bond with other bears. Most likely, it is due to hunting for food. 

We have  raised many other type of animals,  but I must say, this was quite a new experience for us at that time. It took a lot of work, love and communication to raise Sybil. 

sybil and benny the black bearsWe currently have and had  a variety of other animals.  Sybil got along great with all the other animals.  She played with all the dogs and was very gentle with the dogs and they were gentle with her. No harm  ever came to any of our animals. When Sybil  reached three  years old, I no longer let the dogs play with her. I know Sybil would not intentionally hurt the dogs, but, because of her strength, I would rather be safe than sorry.

We have a steer. His name is Oscar. Sybil and Oscar are really great friends. they would spend hours playing together.  Yes, a cow and a bear.  You will see them in some of the pictures. We had six Llamas at that time. She got along great with them and my emu also.

I still let Sybil and Oscar play together.  Now that Sybil is older, she don't play as much as she did when she was younger.  Oscar lays  down at the outside of the pen, and is usually where Sybil is.
Sometimes, I let Oscar in the pen with Sybil and Benny. They are still buddies.

Sybil can be a little moody at times.  If she can't get her own way, she gets mad.
When I have her favorite treats, she is very gentle in taking it.

When we first got the donkeys, and they made noise, it upset Sybil. She showed  aggression. but, she is now use to them. We are very cautious with Sybil. She can just attempt to bite out of the clear blue, for reasons sometimes we don't know. 

Overall, for a bear, she is pretty good. except for her occasional mood swings.

Sybil's coat changes during seasons. In the mid spring, her fur begins to shed a little, but, she still has sybil the black beara beautiful coat.  By early summer, her coat sheds more. By summer, her color changes to a rusty brown, and she is really shedding then. I have even seen some white patches of fur on her. The fur texture is even different than her winter coat.  It seems to be a little more coarse and pulls out very easy. 

In the early fall, her coat will begin a transition.  Her fur starts to grow and change colors to more of a pure black.  By late fall and especially early winter her fur makes a complete change to a deep black with blue highlights and very shiny.

Sybil actually looks like a complete different bear in the season change.
She looks like a larger bear beginning  mid to late fall


Sybil's  favorite snacks are, marrow bone treats, raw eggs.
She gets a little of it once a day, that is their bedtime snack.

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

Then in conjunction, she 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 in their diet.
They sometimes get bored with the same food everyday. However, the foods they really like, they will eat daily.  Usually fruits they seem to get bored with.  They also get fresh fish when available. They love fish.

If you are considering a bear or any exotic animal..
 Please read the following:
Black bears, as other exotic animals, CANNOT be raised like you would a dog.
It takes a lot of understanding and knowledge to raise these type of animals.

Anyone considering a black bear or any type of exotic animal, please make sure you understand their proper needs.
Are they legal in your state?
Can you afford the proper pen, food and housing for them?
Do you know how to handle them?
Have you done extensive research on them?
Can you afford the proper care of a black bear?
Do you have the time to spend with them?
Are you aware that males can weigh 600-700 lbs/females 300-400lbs
Do you know, they are very strong animals and can still have wild instincts?
Do you have a water source for in their pen (pond)?
Did you know that any vacations or activities you normally do, will change?
Did you know any type of different noise could change their mood in a second?
Do you have young children?
Do you have a back up plan if a black bear or any large exotic would attack?
Did you know black bears and most other exotics can bite or attack without warning in seconds?
Thank you for looking at Sybil'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.