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Two Orphaned Bear Cubs Returned to Yosemite

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avatar Two Orphaned Bear Cubs Returned to Yosemite
February 22, 2002 01:30PM
January 11, 2002
For Immediate Release

Two orphaned black bear cubs from Yosemite National Park were returned to a den in the park's wilderness after spending the past 6 months at an Idaho Fish and Game black bear rehabilitation center. The cubs, which have been in Idaho since they were sixteen weeks old, learned survival skills and were raised on a natural diet so they would not become habituated to humans or human food. Their mother was euthanized in June 2001 after displaying escalating aggressive behavior over a several year period.

The goal of the rehabilitation is to successfully release the bears back to their natural environment. The bears should be in good health, avoid humans, be able to find their natural food, and ultimately survive on their own. Idaho's black bear rehabilitation center has successfully released black bear cubs into their natural environment over the last twelve years.

Wildlife Biologists from Yosemite National Park placed the hibernating bears in a den in a remote wilderness location on Friday, January 10 using a helicopter to access the area. Biologists tagged the bears and also placed radio collars on the bears so that they can monitor future movements of the cubs.

"We are very optimistic that the bears will live long, healthy, natural lives," said Kate McCurdy, Wildlife Biologist for Yosemite National Park.

U.S. Representative George Radanovich (R-Mariposa), National Park Service Director
Fran Mainella, and Yosemite National Park Superintendent David A. Mihalic observed the bears' return to the park.

An orphaned black bear cub that was rehabilitated and placed into a den last winter has survived well in the park and has not become habituated to human food sources in the park.

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