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Jackson and Cheyenne are off on their next big adventure. The brother and sister grizzly bears have done a lot of traveling in their two short years, coming to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2011 from Wyoming and now moving on to their long-term home, the new Mike and Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit, at the Akron Zoo.
“We’ve known all along that two of our four grizzly cubs would be heading to Akron at some point,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. “The Akron Zoo is a great institution and we were happy to help care for the bears while their new exhibit was under construction.”
Akron Zoo President & CEO, L. Patricia Simmons said the bears will be unavailable for photos or video as they spend the next several weeks getting acclimated to their new home, but will be ready to be on exhibit when Grizzly Ridge has its grand opening on July 20. “We are very excited to be welcoming Jackson and Cheyenne to the Akron Zoo and are extremely grateful to Cleveland for providing exceptional care for them over the past two years,” commented Simmons.
Jackson and Cheyenne joined Cleveland’s other two grizzly cubs, Cody and Cooper, in August 2011. All four cubs were about 7 months old at the time, and weighed less than 100 pounds. Now, at just over 2 years old, all four bears are in the 300 pound range and still growing.
“Grizzlies aren’t really considered full-grown until they are 4 or 5 years old,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Curator of Animals Travis Vineyard. “And an adult male grizzly bear can weigh upwards of 900 pounds when fully grown.”
Cody and Cooper, the orphaned brother cubs from Montana, will remain on exhibit in Cleveland.
Grizzly bears, a subspecies of brown bear, were once widespread throughout the U.S. and Canada. Their range has shrunk toward the northwest with most now occurring in Alaska and western Canada, although their numbers are on the rise in some areas of the contiguous U.S., especially in and around Yellowstone National Park.
Grizzlies in the wild have an average lifespan of 20-30 years, and typically live a few years longer in captivity. They are solitary animals in the wild, unless a mother is caring for cubs, in which case the cubs will stay with the mother for up to three years.