- Black Bears
- Trumpeter Swans
- Timber Wolves
- Grizzly Bears
Black bears are not always black. In fact, their fur color varies based on age and the time of the year. The fur of black bears can range from dark variations, such as dark brown and light black, to light variations, such as blonde or cinnamon. In fact, some bears have fur that’s bluish white. Completely white bears are called spirit bears by Northwest Pacific Indians.
About the Memphis Zoo black bears
We are currently home to three confiscated black bears: River, Spring and Fire. River and Spring are siblings and you can see they look very similar. Fire was confiscated the same year, but she is not related, you can recognize her as the one that is smaller with a red tint to her fur. As an AZA institution we act as a rescue center for black bears. We became a home for Spring, River and Fire when they were confiscated by government officials. Bears do not make good pets and it is illegal to own a bear throughout most of the United States including here in Tennessee.
Black bears inadvertently helped name a now-famous children’s toy. President Theodore Roosevelt, while on a black bear hunt in Mississippi, refused to shoot an old black bear. Word spread, and on November 16, 1902, a cartoon appeared in The Washington Post. A New York shop owner, Morris Michtom, saw the cartoon and displayed two stuffed bears his wife had made in his shop’s window. He asked Roosevelt’s permission to call them Teddy’s bears, and the name stuck.
They love their food! In late summer and early fall, a male can gain up to 30 lbs. in a single week to prepare for hibernation.
They’re true omnivores. While they will eat meat, up to 75% of their diet in the wild is plant-based.
Black bears are found throughout North America. In fact, they are found in 32 states in the U.S., all but one of the Canadian provinces, and five Mexican states.
It all started with a bear named "Natch" in 1906. The first inhabitant of the newly-formed Zoo was a black bear.
Trumpeter swans received their name because of the loud, trumpeting call that sounds much like a honk. These large, graceful birds were once close to extinction, but thanks to many reintroduction programs across the country, this species is seeing some recovery.About the Memphis Zoo's Trumpeter Swans
A pair of swans now live in Teton Trek. Both came from Utah’s Hogle Zoo, but they actually hatched in Iowa. The Zoo has a rich history of swans in its collection, dating back to 1966. The Zoo is very involved in a reintroduction program for trumpeter swans across the country.
Click here to read more about the Zoo’s work with swans both here and in the wild.
Western regions of North America
Trumpeter Swans primarily feed on seeds, plants and small insects.
Well-known for their large size, white feathers and black beak.
The largest species of North American waterfowl, they can weigh up to 30 lbs.
The wolf is what is referred to as an apex predator, an animal at the top of the food chain. Living in packs of four to 40, wolves prefer to hunt large mammals — deer, moose and caribou. They regularly eat birds, rodents and rabbits as well. Their top speed is near 40 miles per hour, and they have been reported to execute a running broad jump of well over 20 feet. Timber wolves are also referred to as gray wolves.About our Wolf
We are home to one timber wold: Meeka. Meeka is female and she is distinguished by her under-bite. Her birthday is on April 9, 2009, and has been a part of our zoo family since she was a pup. She is always interested in the visitors overlooking her exhibit and is very playful.
The Grizzly Bear is a distinctive subspecies of the Brown Bear which once was found practically all across the Northern Hemisphere. Other subspecies include the Kodiak, Hokkaido and Eurasian Brown Bears. Grizzlies are not true hibernators, but rather enter a "winter sleep" during which their metabolism slows and they survive on accumulated fat but not to the extent of true hibernators.
About our Grizzlies
Memphis Zoo is home to three grizzly bears: Cochise, Yukon and Else. They lost their mother when she came into conflict with a hiker on a trail in Wyoming. A mother bear will always defend and protect her cubs. If hiking in bear territory be sure learn what to do if you encounter a bear and stay Bear Aware throughout your visit! All AZA accredited zoos serve as rescue homes for grizzly bears, they are not bred in AZA zoos so that we can provide a forever home for orphan bears, just like Cochise, Yukon and Else. Bears need their mother to teach them how to survive in the wild so if they are orphaned when young they cannot go back to the wild. Many cubs are orphaned due a conflict with people.
Elk are very majestic animals sometimes mistaken for caribou. They are abundant in Yellowstone National Park and the Pacific Northwest. Elk live in herds in and around forested habitat and feed on plants, leaves, grasses and tree bark. Elk are the most vocal of deer. In autumn, the bulls call out challenges to rivals, known as bugling.
About our Elk
Teton is home to 5 elk. "Big John" is our only boy, and most of the year he can easily be spotted by the rack of antlers on his head. Male elk naturally shed their antlers ever spring. Every year they get slightly larger and more impressive. The four females are "Helena," "Charisa," "Summer" and "Maggie." Summer and Maggie are the youngest and were born in Memphis.
Listed as “least concern” with an increasing population
These are found in western US and Canada.
Elk are herbivores and primarily feed on grass and browse.
Elk have brown fur, lighter on underside, tail and rump. The males’ antlers have six tines (points) that can be up to 5 feet across.
These large males can weigh up to 800 lbs, and even females can get as large as 500 lbs.
up to 400 (banquet seating for 152). “Perfect for”, “amenities”, and “pricing” is good. Includes: 150 chairs, 19 60” round tables, and 10 cabaret tables.