A Spooktacular Time

Little bear Boo and brothers celebrate their second Halloween with the Detroit Zoo
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BOO — The smallest sibling likes to start wrestling matches. // Photograph courtesy of the Detroit Zoo, Patti Truesdell

After a tragic poaching incident left their mother dead in October 2011, grizzly bear cubs Mike, Thor, and Boo scrounged around near Anchorage, Alaska, searching for sustenance. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game determined that the trio wouldn’t survive winter on their own, so they sought a safe haven for the baby bears — the Detroit Zoo.

On Halloween, the smallest of the three was captured and named Boo. A few days later, Mike and Thor followed, and the brothers hopped a flight to Detroit.

Headed into their second Halloween with the Detroit Zoo, the trio plans to celebrate in their usual style with sibling wrestling matches, frolicking, swimming, and even a bit of fishing. Boo can be found causing the most mischief of the three, starting fights and often taking the first leap into the water for a good fish dinner.

Boo and his brothers could grow as tall as 8 feet, weigh up to 800 pounds, and live for 25 years. However, the average grizzly bear faces a few more obstacles than this trio’s carefree lifestyle. The grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis), a North American subspecies of the brown bear, is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and as few as 1,000 remain in the continental United States.

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