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Happiest Birthday Juniper and Fern!

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications
Photos and video by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Happy fabulous 1st birthday, Fern and Juniper! 

Juniper and Fern (Ferniper) discover their cakes together!

Woodland Park Zoo’s rambunctious, charismatic brown bear cubs, known fondly as Ferniper, turn 1 year old January 31!

The zoo celebrated their milestone birthday by treating the cubs to ice cakes concocted with fruit and veggie juice made with the cubs’ faves: apple, cantaloupe, carrot, honeydew, pear, oranges, romaine, watermelon, yam, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, corn, and even a couple of tropicals—papaya and mango—nom nom!


It is estimated the cubs were born in January 2022. Both cubs were rescued from their native habitats. Juniper is a coastal brown bear from Anchorage, Alaska; Fern is a grizzly bear from Montana. They were too young to survive on their own. Bear cubs learn everything about being a bear directly from their mother including hunting, foraging and other skills to survive.

Fern in her birthday cake zone.

The cubs are getting bigger every day. Juniper, who is markedly larger than Fern, currently weighs in at 280 pounds and Fern at 218 pounds.

The cubs were introduced to each other last November. “Juniper and Fern have been best buds since. They spend the majority of their time wrestling and playing together or napping next to each other. The cubs are each other’s enrichment,” said Tina Mullett, an animal care manager at Woodland Park Zoo.

Juniper making moves on her ice cake!

According to the zoo’s bear keepers, Juniper is known to have a goofy personality and is the resident comedian. She is commonly seen with a stick or root ball in her mouth; she has a big presence and is boisterous. Fern is considered to be more of a thinker and is quite more confident.

The 1-year-old cubs can be seen daily in the zoo’s Living Northwest Trail, along with three new Canada lynx—Marty, Monty and Yukon—and the new Cathy Herzig Basecamp Northwest featuring western pond turtles and the Turtle Head Start Center.

Brown bears are an iconic species, and Juniper and Fern are symbols of hope to restore grizzlies in the North Cascades. To learn more about the cubs and grizzly bear recovery, visit

It's not a birthday party without a little shenanigans.


Anonymous said…
Juniper & Fern are such an adorable duo! As much as I miss Keema & Denali, I still love these two very much!
Anonymous said…
Girls just wanna have fun!