Ursus Spelaeus (The Cave Bear)
Park Diet: Berries, apples, potatoes, carrots, pears, plums, pine cones, watermelons, pumpkins, nuts, roots, reeds, twigs, grass, honey, fish, raw pork chops, eggs, bear feed, horse feed
Natural Diet: Berries, pine cones, nuts, roots, reeds, twigs, grass, honey, fish, carcasses, eggs
Lifespan: Twenty six years
Habitat: Seasonal snowy areas with large amounts of food during Spring and Summer, caves during the winter; will occasionally go into swamps and grasslands
Native Ecosystem: Europe
Breeding Season: February to June
Gestation Period: Six months
Number of Young: One to four, rarely five or six
Danger Level: Six out of ten
Cave bears are adaptable animals, that can change in size, diet, metabolism,and behavior in whatever environment they happen to be in. They can adjust to whatever species of plant or animal food which may be available to them. Like many of the large megafaunal herbivore species of the ecosystem it was native to, the cave bear would eat snow instead of digging the snow away with it's paw when looking for food. Just like many other creatures that shared this behavior in their native habitat, the cave bear would urinate frequently.
Cave bears are the proud owners of very powerful claws and teeth that can kill humans, Neanderthals, and small to medium animals attacking them with little effort. They must, however, be careful of breaking their claws, as they often take months to regrow. When cave bears do break their claws, they resort to their sharp teeth, which can be used to maul almost any kind of imaginable enemy in their natural habitat.
During their five-month breeding season, cave bears would look for a single female cave bear before attempting to woo them into mating with them and prove they have strong genes by hunting either a healthy fast yet weak animal, like a reindeer or horse, or a sick but still extremely strong animal, like a woolly rhino or small mammoth. Most of the cave bears went after fast prey, due to them being significantly less dangerous. This behavior allowed for male cave bears to have a higher survival rate than Coelodonta males.
Cave bears were found in a variety of habitats all over Europe. The cave bear was a species that could make use of almost any habitat that was presented to it, even the pine forests that led to the decline of the large Eurasian herbivores of the Pleistocene. However, despite it's adaptability to multiple environments, the cave bear unfortunately went extinct. The reason that these magnificent omnivores went extinct is because of climate change and early humans taking away important caves that the bears needed for hibernation during the Winter months.
Cave bears lived alone as solitary animals and seldom sought each other out, except for when it was mating season. Both males and females held their own territories and didn't normally seek to expand their territories. During the mating season, if a male cave bear came across a female with cubs, he would try to kill the female's cubs to bring her into heat, like modern grizzly bears. However, like modern grizzly bears as well, the males would often fail in their attempts, due to the female's deep maternal instincts to protect her young.
Cave bears are territorial and just as dangerous to approach as any other bear species. While these omnivores are willing to stay away from humans and Neanderthals, they won't tolerate humans and Neanderthals that get too close, attack it, or get in it's way. Like most animals, the cave bears eventually learn to recognize their keepers, but still aren't friendly towards them. They are, however, more tolerant of their keepers than other humans and Neanderthals.
Cave bears will willingly eat snow for water. The cave bear species had no natural predators, although cave lions and Neanderthal tribes would attack them in the most severe occasions. Young Neanderthal men would have to hunt them to complete the Hunter's Passage Ritual, a Neanderthal ritual that required all young men who were about to enter manhood and become a hunter to bring back the scalp of a Woolly Mammoth, the smaller horn of Coelodonta, the claws of a cave bear, the horns of an Aurochs, and the skin of a cave lion. Many young hunters described the hunting of the cave bear as the most delicate and an indeed terrifying part of their journey, which would take them far and wide across their known territories.
Cave bears are terrifying beasts that didn't take s**t from anyone and do not take practical jokes nicely (this particular segment was added by Nick). They are mean, stole my lunch on the first week I was working here, and contribute nothing to society or the park in any way. They are no-good creatures that eat, sleep, eat snow, sleep some more, and eat my sandwiches.
The cave bears of Prehistoric Park are willing to share their territory with other cave bears because of the plentiful food and them no longer having to hold their own territories, thus allowing for multiple cave bears to live peacefully within a close proximity to each other.
A Neanderthal legend states that a valley in North a hidden and lush valley exists where smaller-than-normal cave bears live alongside a variety of other animals. An increasing amount of evidence has started to point at the actual existence of this hidden valley. Nigel, Chiyo, and Mahak hope to eventually one day go there to capture animals said to be unique there like white woolly mammoths and cave lions, red roe deer, and Coelodonta who have an advanced herd behavior.
As no known frozen cave bear carcasses exist, Wu doesn't have any current plans to clone cave bears. And, after much persuasive action by the famous Jurassic period carnivore expert, Drew Luczynski, the famous lion and African mammalian carnivore researcher, who has chosen to go by the codename A-LionGleek, and an inspirational young teenager named Nathan, Nigel has decided against his previous belief that cloned animals aren't true animals and has given a thumbs up on proceeding to clone them. Henry Wu has now proceeded to extract DNA from as many specimens as possible before a new company by the name of E.O. Inc buys them for research into Pleistocene environmental niches to help further Prehistoric Park's and Pleistocene Park's of hopefully returning extinct Eurasian animals into the wild.
Prehistoric Park would normally plan to one day reintroduce a Pleistocene Eurasian animal, but, unfortunately, the cave bear wasn't part of the Russian mammoth steppe ecosystem. This, therefore, has made it unreleasable in Pleistocene Park. InGen has thought of making a smaller park in Western Russia, where it could be in a semi-wild environment.
All and all, the cave bear is a species that can be enjoyed from afar, if one makes sure not to aggravate it in any way. With a fierce appearance, yet furry and cuddly exterior, these beasts of the ice age are sure to be enjoyed by the public for a long time.
Sorry Avian, but majority wins the cloning issue. Henry clones plants, invertebrates, and even small vertebrates that get caught in amber, like frogs and lizards, so why should a mammoth or rhinoceros be any different. All creatures are deserving of life. To A-LionGleek, Nathanoraptor, and Drew: thank you for defending my earlier decisions at cloning mammoths and such. I had figured, that cloning mammoths should still be done because it would bring fresh genes into the park's current gene pool. It also said on the Masrani Global website that one of Wu's camps had planned to clone frozen woolly mammoths, so yeah. Anyways, peace out guys!