For the past six years, the same three bears have been fascinating visitors to the North American Bear Center. Now, a rescued cub has been added to the mix.
Holly, a black bear turning a year old this month, came to the center in December after a man rescued her from a forest fire in Arkansas. There, state wildlife officials tried to rehabilitate her back into nature, but called the center to take the cub when they could see rehab wouldn't work, executive director Nadine Long said.
"We anticipate she'll get along very well. She was a very friendly bear when she was in the rehab facility," Long said. "We're looking forward to learning more about her and her personality."
With bears in hibernation, the center has set up a camera in Holly's man-made den.
"Along with our ambassador bears Ted, Honey and Lucky, Holly will teach many thousands of people about black bears," she said.
The nonprofit center's board chairman is Lynn Rogers, who has battled with the state over his controversial research of wild bears.