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When fish and wildlife officers brought two Black Bear cubs to PAWS in July of 2009 from coastal Oregon, the bears were just little balls of fur weighing around 30 pounds each. We estimated their age to be about 6 months.

I was both excited and sad that we had received them. Excited because I had never seen bear cubs that small and sad that they were needing rehabilitation in the first place. These little guys, both males, were orphaned as a result of their mother being shot. Because the people in the community were feeding the bear family, mom got too comfortable and helped herself to an un-penned chicken, which resulted in her death.

Black Bear 091486 Pre-release Exam 1Black Bear 091486 Pre-release Exam 2

Nearly 8 months later after growing up at PAWS, they are now back in their native habitat, hopefully roaming their new territory, foraging, playing, and just being bears.

The boys were released Sunday, April 4 by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in central Oregon.

Before they left PAWS Wildlife Center, our veterinarian, Dr. John Huckabee and veterinary student extern, Michelle Malament, tranquilized the bears, with the help of the rehabilitation team, and gave them a last examination as illustrated in the photos.

One bear was fitted with a radio collar and both were ear-tagged so the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife can track them.

I will miss seeing them on our camera monitors in the wildlife center lobby. But I am much happier that they are back where they belong.


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Awww it so great to see the little guys looking so big and healthy. I'm extremely pleased to hear about their release and I'm wishing them all the best.

Hellooo ~ I was wondering about the female black bear cub that had been rescued prior to these two male cubs. She had been hit by a car, had neuropathy. I was told she made a full recovery and that two boy cubs the same age from a different area of WA had been introduced to her in her pen. I don't see her in the pictures or see any mention of her. I was initially told they were planning to releast the three of them together. Can you tell me more about her? Thank you ~

Hi Dede,
The female bear that was hit by a car was released in June. She was fitted with a GPS collar and the WDFW has been tracking her movements since her release. The reports we have received from them indicate that she is currently living in the vicinity of the Capitol State Forest south of Olympia and that she is doing well.

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