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The two RV Gypsies went to
Oswald's Bear Ranch
13814 County Rod 407 (H-37)
Newberry, Michigan

September 11, 2015

Oswald's Bear Ranch boasts being the United States' largest Bear Ranch with 29 roaming live bears.  There are several big fenced enclosures that contain the bears' natural habitat. There are 29 bears, 2 huge habitats (1/2 and 1/3 mile perimeter) and 2 smaller habitats (1/4 mile perimeter each). The yearling bears have a waterfall within their habitat.

directions to Oswald's Bear Ranch entrance to Olswald's Bear Ranch
sign: cost to get in Oswald's Bear Ranch

It cost $20 per car to park and for an additional fee of $10 a group of visitors can go inside the bear's cage and feed a black bear while the attendant uses the visitor's own camera and takes 3 or 4 photos. Even though there was nobody else waiting in line, the two RV Gypsies were rushed into the cage, photos were taken, and they were quickly ushered out. Karen barely blinked and it was a done deal. But still, it was a unique experience.

The two RV Gypsies and a black bear Lee Duquette feeds a black bear

The Bear Ranch is a healthy walk about and not a drive-thru. However, they do offer a trolley for the elderly and large groups.  There is an elevated platform located at each of the habitats. The platforms offer a birds' eye view of the bears, their surroundings, and are great locations to see the bears at their daily 4:00 p.m. feeding time.

One of the viewing platforms a vewing platform

Two black bears growling at each other.

Another black bear

two bears growling at each other. a black bear

Walking to the other habitats, there were lots of ant holes on the ground. The two RV Gypsies noticed one bear staying in a corner of its habitat and repeatedly walking in a very small circle. They asked an attendant why the bear was doing that, and they were told that the bear was rescued from a place that kept it in a small cage and it just didn't realize it now had freedom. How sad.

sign about the bears and the bear ranch ant mounds

Bear Facts: Although most Black Bears are black in color; they can be white, whitish-blue, creamy -white, cinnamon, chocolate, or reddish brown.

Black bears can climb trees, swim, and travel 25-35 miles per hour at short stretches. They are an average weight of 300-400 pounds as adults.

bear drinking water bear drinking water

Because Karen has seen several bears in the wild (Black and Grizzly), she was not overly impressed with seeing bears in enclosed habitats, so she did not take many photos. However, it was an unique experience to touch and feed the bear, even though it happened so quickly.

a black bear
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