Three black bear cubs orphaned in the San Bernardino Mountains this summer have passed their health screenings and will continue their stay at the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center until they are strong enough to return to the wild.
Two of the cubs, a 6-month-old brother and sister, were found separately on July 9 and July 12 in the Valley of the Falls by California Department of Fish and Wildlife crews after their mother was killed by a person when she was trying to break in. cabin. The mother had been conditioned to forage for food in humans, according to the wildlife center.
The third cub, a female, arrived three days later after her mother was reportedly hit by a car near Lake Arrowhead.
They were moved to the Ramona Wildlife Center, where the trio spent two days apart before authorities placed them together in an indoor/outdoor wildlife enclosure. The center specializes in caring for native predators and birds of prey, including hawks, owls, eagles, coyotes, bears, bobcats, and occasionally cougars.
“The single female, who is actually much larger than the two siblings, was quite shy and quiet at first,” Project Wildlife senior director Dr. Jon Enyart said in a statement. “It took time for the brother and sister to invite him into their family, but now they do everything together.”
On August 4, veterinary teams carried out a full examination of the bears, including blood tests, x-rays of their bodies, checking teeth and taking measurements. The teams found the cubs to be healthy.
They were also microchipped.
Since then, the cubs have spent time together in an outdoor enclosure, playing and exploring their habitat and learning to forage for food.
Officials said the move outdoors is an important step in their return to nature, providing access to trees, shrubs and natural substrate, as well as acclimatization to weather conditions.
“It’s so important that these bears don’t feel comfortable around humans and associate us with food,” Andy Blue, campus director of the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center, said in the statement. “For their own safety and the safety of the public, we want them to avoid humans at all costs and learn to feed and hunt so they can survive on their own in the wild.”