Black bears ride on swan pedalos

By John Mercury March 24, 2024

A lucky group of black bears were treated to a pedalo ride after a lake formed in their enclosure.

After heavy rain created a mini lake in their 13-acre reserve, keepers at Woburn Safari Park decided to float a swan pedalo on the water.

According to Tommy Babington, deputy head of the carnivore section at the park in Bedfordshire, the bears were “immediately intrigued” by their new neighbour and “wasted no time in investigating” it.

Pic: Woburn Safari Park
Image:
Pic: Woburn Safari Park

Pic: Woburn Safari Park
Image:
Pic: Woburn Safari Park

The pedalo is usually used elsewhere on the site but was awaiting new pedals, Mr Babington said.

“It was great fun for visitors to seeing them climb on board, and we love devising new ways to provide food, scent and habitat enrichment that stimulates their natural foraging behaviours,” he said.

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“Bears are naturally very curious animals, and keepers will encourage this with all kinds of enrichment through their habitat as this keeps their minds and bodies active.

“The swan boat enrichment may be a less conventional approach to stimulating their natural behaviours, but it certainly was a hit.”

Pic: Woburn Safari Park
Image:
Pic: Woburn Safari Park

The four black bears are two pairs of siblings – two male and two female – named Harvard, Maple, Colorado, and Aspen.

Originally from North America, they can grow up to 2m long and weigh more than 45 stone.

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