Six Orphaned Bear Cubs Receiving Care at SDHS Show Progress in Recovery
Six orphaned bear cubs receiving care at our Ramona Wildlife Center are showing promising progress in their outdoor enclosures. Four of the cubs recently graduated to the outdoors on Oct. 21, 2021, and joined the two cubs who have been outside since Aug. 23, 2021. The cubs have to be at a good weight and eating solid foods before transferring outside.
The successful move outdoors is significant because the bears are given access to trees, shrubs and natural substrate. They are also getting acclimated to the weather and have more opportunities to run, climb, play and forage for their food. The increased activity and rough housing with each other, help the cubs build muscles. Our wildlife care specialists also work with the bears to develop their wild instincts by having them search for food and grubs, setting them up for a successful reintroduction back into the wild.
The bears each eat 10 pounds of food every day, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey and assorted proteins. Their enrichment includes natural substrate in the form of pumpkins, different scents and prey items like fish. “It’s fantastic to see all six of our bear cubs doing so well,” said Christine Barton, director of operations & wildlife rehabilitation at San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Campus. “They are growing fast by foraging and eating, playing, climbing rocks and trees — all activities that will help better prepare them for a life in the wild.”
The six cubs arrived at different times over the summer. On Aug. 18, two siblings were brought in by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) after they were captured in the Three Rivers area. The bears had been seen without their mother, looking for handouts from people which ultimately leads to problems for the bears and humans. For their own safety and the safety of the public, CDFW captured the cubs.
On Sept. 10, a bear cub who approached firefighters in Plumas County with burned paws during the Dixie Fire was transferred in. And on Sept. 22, three orphaned bear siblings, who were originally picked up by CDFW in Mariposa after a sow was found killed nearby, arrived for care.
Published: November 11, 2021