February 20, 2016 – These two young cubs came to LTWC from the Chico, Calif. area in May 2015. After several months at LTWC eating, gaining weight and eventually hibernating, we successfully released them back to the wild today!
The two cubs are brother and sister who became orphans when they were just 3 or 4 months old. Their mother was euthanized when she was mistaken for another bear in the same area who had been identified as a nuisance bear.
As soon as the game warden realized this, they contacted LTWC to make arrangements for the two cubs.
Once the cubs arrived, Dr. Kevin Willitts gave them a full exam and placed their ear tags. The male cub weighed in at 18.1 pounds and the female was 15.3 pounds. Several volunteers assisted in removing ticks from their bodies, but the cubs were otherwise in good health.
The pair spent the next six months at LTWC eating and playing, and eating again. In early December, when the cubs weighed about 100-120 lbs., we began limiting their food so they would enter hibernation. They spent most of their last two months with us sleeping.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CFW) alerted us that they were targeting this week for the release date. This morning, we sedated the cubs, weighed them, drew their blood, and got them into their travel cages. CFW left LTWC with the cubs at about 8am, on their way to the foothills east of Chico for the last (we hope) ride for these two cubs.
These two beautiful animals are now on their way to the first day of their new, WILD life!
Tahoe Mountain Resort TV was at LTWC covering the story this morning. Click the video below to watch!
Our most sincere thanks all of our volunteers who were on hand this morning to assist, to Dr. Willitts, and to Ashley Lindner from Tahoe Mountain Resort TV.