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Orphaned Bear Cubs Released in Windsor County (Video)

  • Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologists release several juvenile orphaned bear into the wild after a short stay in a rehabilitation facility in Lyme, N.H., in June 2017. (Vt. Fish & Wildlife photograph - Tom Rogers) Vermont Fish and Wildlife

Published: 6/13/2017 1:52:14 PM
Modified: 6/14/2017 11:55:32 AM

Several orphaned bear cubs that were rehabilitated by bear biologist Ben Kilham and his sister Phoebe in Lyme were released recently into woods in Windsor County, Vermont wildlife officials said on Tuesday.

The juvenile bears had been found in residential areas of Vermont earlier this spring suffering from malnourishment.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials said two young bears were released last week, and two other juvenile bears a couple of weeks prior to that, in southern Vermont in one of the department’s large wildlife management areas, but asked that the exact location in Windsor County not be divulged. 

“We are grateful when concerned citizens report these bears to their local warden, rather than attempting to handle a wild animal themselves,” Vermont state bear biologist Forrest Hammond said in a news release. “People mistakenly think that young animals are in distress and in need of rescue and they sometimes intervene directly, putting their safety and that of the animal at risk.”

Though in most cases leaving animals in the wild is the best solution, in “rare instances” such as these, an orphaned bear can benefit from help from trained wildlife professionals, he said.

“We hope that these bears remain in the woods and continue to live as wild bears,” Hammond said.

Vermont officials said there is a difference between orphaned juvenile bears and so-called “problem bears” that have regularly raided bird feeders and unsecured trash cans left out by humans, a practice wildlife officials are trying to discourage. Such was the case with three cubs recently trapped in Hanover and relocated to northern New Hampshire by officials in the Granite State.

“It’s nearly impossible to relocate or rehabilitate a bear once it associates humans with food,” Hammond said. “We get hundreds of bear complaints a year and, while we work to find a resolution that benefits all concerned, it sometimes can have fatal consequences for the bear.”


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