Confident cub Smudge’s bright personality

26 September 2014

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Smudge, the last bear cub bred on Nanning Bear Farm, has delighted carers with her progress over the last few months as enrichment and a healthy diet shine through in her personality.

Discovered living alone in a dank, dark cell when Animals Asia took over Nanning Bear Farm, staff were quick to improve her welfare by introducing a more species-specific diet and enriching her daily life.

Smudge's diet is now more balanced and healthy with the cub receiving milk formula and puppy food three times a day augmented with fruits and vegetables twice a day.

Due to her rapid growth, Smudge has moved on from bottle feeding and is now fed milk in a bowl – a choice she seems to relish.

Heidi Quine, Senior Bear Manager, said:

"Smudge is an excellent eater and finishes everything offered to her. She is no longer fed from a bottle, but given milk in a bowl, which was something she chose herself. The first time she was offered milk in a bowl she licked the bowl clean as if she'd always been fed that way."

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Delightfully, Smudge is showing signs of a healthy enthusiasm for play, a sign that she is happy and enjoying her enrichment programme.

Her den is well stocked with enrichment, including a paddling pool, climbing frame, various Kong toys and browse.

Heidi added:

"Smudge has grown up to become a very confident youngster, I think much more so than the young bear I met for the first time in March of this year. Now she comes to the front of the den whenever someone is around to say hello and see what's going on.

"She is playful too, running from one den to another to follow her visitors around – always active, always inquisitive. We recently monitored her night-time behaviour as an added precaution to check she is comfortable and it turns out she never stops! She runs from her pool, to the steps, back and forth between her two dens. She's a very busy and happy little character."

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Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

"We're delighted with how Smudge has grown over the last six months – in both size and personality. It shows the importance of a healthy diet and a novel, enriching environment and is really testament to the bear team's professionalism and dedication because they've managed to improve Smudge's life so much under such challenging conditions. This is still the early stages of the Peace by Piece project – for happy little Smudge, things are going to get even better."

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