Observe black bears from a kitchen window just like many New Jersey residents see the bears from their kitchen windows. An enclosed observation area is a replica of a typical kitchen.
The bears can also be observed from two outside cabin areas that provide different viewing angles. The exhibit is a natural area of mature oak and hickory trees and the bears can often be found climbing them. A stream and pool provide a place to cool off and engage in enrichment activities. The bears share the exhibit with red fox. They can usually be seen by the large logs at the top of the slope.
The black bears are twin sisters, Jelly and Jam. They arrived as orphaned cubs in the spring of 2005. By the summer of 2008 they became mature and weighed between 250 and 300 pounds.
Educational material is available throughout the exhibit. Take time to read the information panels for bear facts, their history, and how to behave around them. On the pathway are animal tracks impressions. Try to identify them.
Two hundred and fifty years ago black bears were abundant and occurred throughout the state. The use of the bears natural habitat for lumber, fuel, and agricultural, however, forced the bears to remote areas where only a few could survive. Over time the bears adapted to living close to and even within areas of human development. Over the last thirty years the black bear population and range has increased. The future of black bear numbers and their range will be defined by the amount and quality of habitat and human tolerance for co-existence. If you share your living space with bears be responsible and learn how to live safely with them.