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Dickerson Park Zoo treats black bears to Thanksgiving feast before long winter nap

Zookeepers at Dickerson Park Zoo treated two black bears to a special Thanksgiving-themed feast...
Zookeepers at Dickerson Park Zoo treated two black bears to a special Thanksgiving-themed feast Sunday morning.(Dickerson Park Zoo)
Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 2:08 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Zookeepers at Dickerson Park Zoo treated two black bears to a special Thanksgiving-themed feast Sunday morning.

Black bears Yona and Lil’ Bear celebrated Thanksgiving early with a a bear-friendly buffet. The feast included Thanksgiving-themed treats, pumpkins and other goodies.

Sunday marks the second year zookeepers have offered a “Beary Happy Thanksgiving” to its black bears. Yona and Lil’ Bear are set to begin a long winter nap in the near future.

“Stuffing yourself and taking a nap are favorite traditions for many on Thanksgiving,” said zoo spokeswoman Joey Powell. “Since the boys will be settling down for winter soon, Thanksgiving is a great holiday to treat them before they take a long snooze.”

Yona and Lil’ Bear will not go into full hibernation, but will enter a state of decreased physiological activity called torpor.

Guests at Dickerson Park Zoo on Sunday were able to watch from the viewing deck at the bear exhibit. A Facebook Live video of the celebration is embedded below.

Dickerson Park Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

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