Meet the American Black Bears


Kate Waggoner

An American black bear lounges by the water at the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

Ceyuni Dick, Staff Writer

The Wildlife Safari is a wondrous 615-acre park that holds two north American black bears; they’re names are Chochmo and Takoda.
Black bears can live in any forest in north America. The North American black bear’s conservation status is not currently threatened, but well populated. A black bear can have a lifespan of 25 years, and Chochmo and Takoda are both in their twenties.
All black bears are omnivores and eat berries, fruits, and insects. Chochmo and Takoda are fed almost the same as wild black bears; they eat fruits and produce mixed with 10% meat.
Black bears are very different from any other bear. Even though they’re called “black bears,” they can be any color: brown, black, cinnamon, tan, and even blonde! These bears have a cone-shaped face and short curved claws making them very good climbers.
When working with Chochmo and Takoda the keepers do a variety of enrichment. Mostly, they do scatter feeding where their scatter their food throughout their enclosure. This makes them get up to go find their food since they are very lazy bears.
In the park, you can find Chochmo and Takoda in the North American loop of the drive through. If they’re not there, then they may be doing fun activities. Chochmo and Takoda participate in two encounters. At 3:00 PM, guests can give them apples and at night the guests can help put Chochmo and Takoda’s diet together for a feeding. To schedule an experience with Chochmo and Takoda, contact Guest Services in the village.
In May, two black bear cubs were brought Wildlife Safari. They were found orphaned in the wild and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife brought them to the Safari. They are both male and are named Odie and Yogi. They are not currently in the drive thru, but you can see them by scheduling a “Little Bear” encounter through Guest Services.