Ted's Page


Ted - 2013 at the age of 16.

Ted, is still gentle and trusting to his human curators. His relationship with younger Lucky (6) changed as Lucky has matured. The years of playfulness and trust that had been rich entertainment to visitors at the NABC changed in 2012 when Lucky matured and became interested in Honey.

The challenge to Ted was to accept Lucky as a maturing male attracted to Honey, who was in estrus. The resul,t combined with maturity of Lucky (6) and the age of Ted (16) led to mistrust and contention between the two males.

Ted's continued pleasant vocalizations assures us that he is still trusting his curators, but is reacting to Lucky as wild males would react to one another with a female in estrus.

Ted enjoys resting on the logs in front of the viewing area windows and continues to react with warm grunts as his Curator and Bear Educators approach him.

He has developed arthritis over the years and is under the constant care his Curator, Staff, Bear Educator team, Dr. Rogers and Drs. Anderson and Hanson. He is given glucosamine daily.

Ted denned in the chalet for 2012-2013 hibernation. He emerged briefly March 25, 2013. This year’s snow has given the bears both here at the center and in the wild more den time. Ted looks very good and moved cautiously through the snow to step outside his enclosure. The snow being about 27" deep turned him around to re-enter his den.

Ted's coat is sleek and he has faired well through hibernation, denning alone in 2012-2013. He is given fresh water daily in his enclosure.

The 2013 summer will focus on bear enrichment and care. It will provide Ted with more foraging and exploratory opportunities than he has had in the past few years.


Written by: Lynn Rogers, PhD

When I first met Teddy he made sweet grunts and tongue-clicks, I knew his intentions were friendly and gentle.  Bears are not deceitful, so I trusted him.  I'm not sure why we bonded so quickly, but Teddy is the first bear I ever met that preferred human contact over food.

ted_open_mouth_to_lynn.jpgTeddy is a sweetheart without a nervous bone in his body.  He obviously likes people, which is a tribute to the people who raised him.  A memory I will always carry of Ted is the first time I trusted him to do whatever he wanted with me.  He stood up, put both paws on my shoulders and pulled me to him.  He licked my face, then went to gently biting it, especially my beard.  He opened his mouth wide, practically engulfing my head ever so gently.  Finally, he snuggled his big head against the side of my neck and just held it there as his claws clasped my arms and shoulders.  Too human.  I wondered if he was feeling the need for closeness that people feel.  He sure seemed to.

ted_meets_chip_6-18-07.jpgChip Hanson, DVM provides veterinary services for the North American Bear Center.  During Ted's checkup on June 18, 2007 he showed his approval of our choice!

ted_face-on.jpgTed may be the largest black bear that ever lived

In fall 2006, Ted weighed an estimated 950 to 1000 pounds.  That estimate is based on the following.    

  • In fall 2006, bear expert Jeff Traska saw Ted in Ted's lifelong Wisconsin home and estimated him at over 900 pounds.    
  • Ted then went into hibernation and lost weight over winter.  A 20% loss would be expected, which would be between 180 and 200 pounds.  When Ted arrived here at the North American Bear Center in late April 2007, he still had a huge belly.  The caretakers restricted his food intake and made him work harder for his food than he had ever worked before.  Over the summer, they watched Ted's belly shrink and watched him become lighter on his feet.  
  • On November 21, 2007, Ted was as lean as ever,  and he weighed 860.5.