SYBIL AS A BEAR CUB:
is a black bear that that was born in captivity January 15, 2001.
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
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
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.
SYBIL'S FIRST YEAR
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 the
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
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
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
and are very happy. In the wild, bears generally roam
solo and don't bond with other bears. Most likely, it is
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 AND FRIENDS:
We 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
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
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.
mid spring, her fur begins to shed a little, but, she still has
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
Sybil actually looks like a complete different bear in the
She looks like a larger bear beginning mid to late fall
SYBIL'S FOOD PREFERENCE:
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,
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.
you are considering a bear or any exotic
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
Are they legal in your state?
Can you afford the proper
pen, food and housing for them?
Do you know how to handle
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
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
for looking at Sybil's Page. I hope
you found this info somewhat
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