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Museum of Life and Science welcomes new black bear cub

For Immediate Release – November 8, 2021 | 10 am

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Matt Pusateri, Senior Director of Marketing
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Our new bear


DURHAM, NC – The Museum of Life and Science today announced the arrival of a rescued 61-pound, nine-month-old female black bear to its Durham campus. N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission officials rescued the cub outside Asheville, North Carolina, but determined her to be unsuitable for release. The cub showed behavior that would not allow her to survive in the wild, so officials hoped to find her a home where her long-term survival would be more likely. She will now live at the Museum as part of its black bear habitat.

“We are excited for the opportunity to rescue this bear from a difficult situation and try to give her a new home. We hope she can thrive and enjoy her life in a safe environment among other bears,” said Sherry Samuels, Director of Animal Care at the Museum.

Having completed her quarantine period and initial introduction to the Museum’s three adult bears — Mimi, Gus, and Yona — the cub will soon be free to explore the Museum’s black bear habitat.  Visitors might get an occasional glimpse of the new bear this fall as she learns to explore the bear habitat.

“There are few things more exciting at the Museum than the arrival of a new animal like this bear,” said Carrie Heinonen, CEO and President of the Museum. “As an institution committed to conservation and animal welfare, we’re thrilled and honored to give her a new home. She has captured our hearts, and we expect she’ll have those of the whole community before long.”

The bear arrived at the Museum at the end of September, and animal care staff moved her to a quarantine area behind the scenes. Over the last five weeks, a team of veterinarians has worked to address some health issues and help the cub adjust to her new environment at the Museum.

“This little bear has health challenges we are working to solve and manage throughout the introduction period and beyond. We’re seeing progress and hope this continues as she adjusts to her new home,” Samuels said. “We’re excited to be at this next step. She is interacting as she should with the other bears, and visitors can hope to see her in the bear habitat soon.”

The Museum plans to invite the public to participate in a naming contest for the bear in the near future.

To learn more about how to live responsibly with bears and keep them wild, go to


About the Museum of Life and Science

Located less than five miles from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations. Our 84-acre campus includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast, and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits. Our interactive experiences include Dinosaur TrailEllerbe Creek RailwayHideaway WoodsInto the MistEarth Moves, and Aerospace, which features one of the largest collections of Apollo-era NASA artifacts in the state. The Museum is also an AZA-accredited zoo, home to rescued black bears, lemurs, endangered red wolves, and more than 60 species of live animals. This year, the Museum celebrates its 75th anniversary and its ongoing commitment to the communities of Durham, the Triangle, and North Carolina. To learn more, visit