Recently, the Austin Zoo was granted custody of three orphaned black bear cubs found in Oregon. We got a sneak peek of them before their first public appearance on Friday, July 4.

image via Austin Zoo's Facebook

The cubs after they arrived at Oregon Zoo – image via Austin Zoo’s Facebook

A logging crew discovered the cubs in February 2014 in a hollow log in Yamhill County, Oregon. The loggers believed their operation scared the mother away from her den, so they called the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Bear chewing gate at media preview Tuesday, July 2 - Photo by Jamie Jett, Do512 Family

Bear chewing gate at media preview Tuesday, July 2 – Photo by Jamie Jett, Do512 Family

Cameras were put in place to see if the mother bear would return, but after only one brief visit it was decided that the cubs needed intervention if they were to survive.

The Oregon Zoo began taking care of the cubs while they looked for a permanent home. That’s when the Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary offered to take them.

Photo by Jamie Jett, Do512 Family

Photo by Jamie Jett, Do512 Family

The cubs have been getting around-the-clock care in a climate-controlled facility for several months and were bottle-fed through May 2014.

Now that they are 6 months old and have been thriving at the zoo, they are ready to be seen by the public. The public can see the bears in their new habitat from 10 – 11 am each day starting on Friday, July 4.


We had a chance to see them during the media preview on Tuesday, July 2, and we can assure you that they are happy and healthy bears. Their names are Ruby, Korben and Tilly and they are as playful and energetic as 6-month-old puppies! Their habitat has ramps, a tetherball, tires, a play pond and a cage that they LOVED climbing. They were play-fighting in the pond and acted just like most siblings – human and nonhuman 🙂

Stop by if you can this weekend!

Zoo rates:

  • Ages 13 and up -> $9
  • Student, Military w/ ID -> $8
  • Senior 60+ -> $8
  • Child 2 – 12 -> $6
  • Members and infants less than 2 years -> Free


  • Open daily from 9:30 am – 6 pm (no entry after 5 pm)

You are welcome to bring in your own food and beverages. The cash-only concession stand is open Monday through Sunday from 11 am – 3 pm and offers drinks, snacks and shaved ice.

There are fun activities held at the zoo on a regular basis. The train is always open and costs $2.50 per ride. Rides run at the top of every hour, are 20 minutes long and consist of a scenic ride through hill country where you can observe emus, alpacas, longhorns and other animals. The zoo also holds educational programs where kids can attend summer workshops or go on a safari adventure.

Have fun!