Orphaned Bear Cub Now Safe at Ramona Wildlife Center
Lone bear transferred from Bishop to San Diego Humane Society to grow stronger
An orphaned California black bear cub is gaining strength at San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center. The approximately 7-month-old cub was rescued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in Bishop, CA on Dec. 15, 2022 and transferred to San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife program for care.
The lone cub had been reported showing habituation to people in the Bishop area, prior to being trapped and transported by CDFW to the Ramona Wildlife Center. The cub weighs approximately 30 lbs. and appears to be in good health.
Project Wildlife’s caretakers say the cub is eating a diet of eggs, honey, grasses, walnuts, gruel and fish. “This little bear is very active and eating well.” said Andy Blue, campus director of San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center “It is our goal to get them stronger and keep them healthy for at least three months, so they can return to the wild where they belong.”
So far, Project Wildlife’s veterinary medical team has performed a visual exam on the cub and will schedule a full exam under anesthesia early in the new year to determine the gender of the bear, do blood work, a dental check and X-rays. The cub is currently being housed at the Ramona Wildlife Center’s hospital facility with indoor-outdoor access. The plan is to move the bear to a larger pre-release enclosure outdoors in the near future, so it has access to trees, shrubs and natural substrate. The bear will then also get acclimated to the weather and have more opportunities to run, climb, play and forage for food.
Typically bear cubs would stay with their mother for about two years. While at the Ramona Wildlife Center, the Project Wildlife team works hard to minimize human contact with their patients, to reduce their risk of habitation or food conditioning, and increase their chance of survival in the wild.
There are now a total of four California black bear cubs at San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center. The three other cubs arrived separately in July and will be released back into the wild next spring.
San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife program is the primary resource for wild animal rehabilitation and conservation education in San Diego County. Each year, SDHS gives nearly 13,000 injured, orphaned and sick wild animals a second chance. In 2020, SDHS announced a new Ramona Campus, where they specialize in caring for native apex predators and birds of prey, including hawks, owls, eagles, coyotes, bears, bobcats and, under special pilot authorization, mountain lions.
Updated Dec. 29, 2022
Published: December 29, 2022