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Mink the bear’s cubs back together in Lyme

  • Mink the bear’s cubs “Lori,” right, and “Chief,” left, rest in an enclosure at the Kilham Bear Center in Lyme, N.H., Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. “Lori” was brought to the center on Wednesday after being trapped behind Tractor Supply in Lebanon, N.H. Mink was found dead on the Mascoma River bank in August and a third cub was hit and killed by a bus in September. Ben Kilham said the brothers are recognizing each other and feeding together. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • One of the 35 bears being rehabilitated at the Kilham Bear Center tries to nurse at the hand of Phoebe Kilham, right, as her brother Ben Kilham, left, looks on in Lyme, N.H., Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. The Kilhams take in orphaned or injured cubs and rehabilitate them until they reach 18 months of age and are released. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Staff Report
Published: 10/15/2020 10:02:52 PM
Modified: 10/15/2020 10:02:46 PM

“Lori” and “Chief,” believed to be the two remaining cubs in the final litter from Upper Valley fixture Mink the bear, were getting along Thursday following their reunion seven weeks after their mother was found dead, according to Ben Kilham, who runs the Lyme bear reserve where they’re reconnecting.

The brother bears were recognizing each other and feeding together a day after Lori’s arrival, the culmination of a widespread search that ended when a tempting trap baited with jelly and maple-frosted doughnuts helped Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos capture him in the woods near Tractor Supply.

Their playful reunion offered a bright spot following the death of their mother, a popular figure in Hanover, Lebanon and beyond, whose body was found by the Mascoma River in late August. An examination ruled that she died of natural causes.

Officials believe a third cub from the litter died last month when it was hit by a bus while attempting to cross Route 10 in West Lebanon.

Mink gained fame after training several of her litters to search for food in the residential neighborhoods of Hanover, prompting both a plan to destroy her, which was overruled by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, and ultimate exile to northern New Hampshire.

Mink’s legacy lives on with Lori and Chief, who were getting reacquainted at Bear expert Kilham’s reserve, where he and his sister Phoebe take in orphaned or injured cubs and rehabilitate them until they reach 18 months of age and are released. He said Wednesday that they have about 35 bear cubs spending the winter at their center, many of them orphaned and rescued throughout the state.




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