LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – An orphaned bear cub is getting the care she needs thanks to the efforts of Utah State University, The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) and the USDA National Wildlife Research Center Predator Research Facility.
The bear cub has special needs and was very underweight and dehydrated when first discovered by wildlife officials.
“Normally by this time of year, they’re 60 pounds, something like that,” says Darren DeBloois, Game Mammals Coordinator for the UDWR. “And that’s plenty big enough, they can survive on their own. This one was about half that. It just seemed small. So, we thought let’s, let’s feed it for a while, a couple months, and then we’ll let it go again.”
Every year, the UDWR coordinates the relocation and rehabilitation of young bears who are orphaned and in need of care. Bears who need to be rehabilitated before being released are transported to the Predator Research Facility in Millville for veterinary care and sustenance to prepare them for the wild.
Viewers can watch the cub’s progress through a live camera feed set up in her pen at the facility.
As the orphaned bear gains weight and strength, she’ll eventually be released into the wild. The only thing that concerns officials is the lack of other bear cubs to properly socialize with.
“Bear cubs are often born in a litter with more than one sibling,” says Dr. Julie Young, Supervisory Research Wildlife Biologist. “And so that’s where they really learn to interact with other bears to socialize, play and a lot of the play is learning how to do things.”
But despite that small setback, Young says the small bear cub is doing well and gaining strength every day. She says the bear will most likely stay at the facility until October before being released, allowing enough time to explore and prepare for hibernation.