by , Director
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Bears & Watermelon

August 13th, 2009

Some photos of our bears when we toss watermelons in the pool. It happens like this:

1. Bear comes over to pool and tries to get watermelon without getting in the water. Many attempts made to reach watermelon with paws. Gus in particular seems to not want to go in the water too much.

2. Give up and head into water. Use paws to stabilize watermelon enough to get a good bite. Once watermelon is secure in teeth, paddle to shore.

3. Arrive on land. Shake off. Try to make sure watermelon does not roll back into pool. Try to keep your watermelon all to yourself (If Mimi gets a watermelon, she walks away with it, at least 40 feet or more, away from the pool and away from the other bears).


4. Take big bites through rind to get to the good stuff.


5. Keep working on your melon until you have worked down to the rind.

This is Virginia in the last photo. If you look closely you can see she has more than one watermelon. She is the one who goes into the pool the easiest and quickest and sometimes gets more than one. I’ve seen Gus more than once “steal” some of Virginia’s watermelons.

Join the conversation:

  1. Joey, Johnny, and I hear reading. We really got a good laugh from your story and pictures! We especially like the part about how you're not supposed to let it roll back in after you get it out!

    Posted by Maryann Goldman
  2. Glad you enjoyed the photos/story. Watching the bears gather and eat watermelons from the pool is a treat.My neighbor just left 10 watermelons in my truck for the bears. THANKS!We'll cut some in half and freeze them- watching the bears try and eat frozen watermelons is pretty funny too.

    Posted by Sherry
  3. I discovered that different species of bears eat watermelon differently when I was doing Animal Enrichment activities at the Kathmandu City zoo: Sloth Bears (who live in the lowland jungles and eat ants and termites) rip the melons open with their extra long claws and slurp the juicy bits up with a sound remarkably like a hoover vacuum cleaner leaving the rind, Himalayan Black Bears (live much higher in the mountains and have a diet similar to the North American Black bear) on the other hand sit on their haunches with the watermelon in their "laps" and very neatly and carefully eat the rind and melon together, spiraling down from the top to the bottom and not spilling a single seed! (sample size of two bears of each species) it would be interesting to compare the watermelon eating habits of even more bears around the world!!

    Posted by Bronwyn

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