Grizzly bear laying in a hammock made out of old fire hose
Photo by Christopher Ives


Bramble and Ramble came to us in 2001. They were with a trainer associated with the Barnum & Bailey Circus. From the northern island of Japan, Hokkaido bears were preferred by circuses because of their dexterity, which enabled them to ride bikes and “dance” on command. When Bramble ambles into the current bear garden, he looks to the left and to the right—and then heads straight for the pool, takes a flying leap through the air, and makes a huge splash as he belly flops onto the water’s surface.

Hokkaido Bear Facts: Also known as Yezo bears, they are the largest land mammal in Japan and can only be found in Hokkaido nationwide. A male brown bear can weigh over 400 kilograms, much heavier than the Asiatic black bears. The diet of brown bears mainly consists of fruits and plants, but they also eat deer, salmon and trout.

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