On January 31, an orphaned Black Bear cub became the 50th bear to be cared for at PAWS Wildlife Center. Having lost the comfort of her mother, cub #07-0064 was not happy. She spent her time sitting by the sliding metal door that divided her enclosure from that of her neighbor: another orphaned bear cub, a male, #06-2708, who had arrived at PAWS in December with a badly broken leg.
After quarantine to ensure that the new cub did not have any illnesses or parasites, the bears were introduced to one another, and in the following months each provided the other with something they desperately needed.
Bear 07-0064 needed companionship most. Although extremely wary at first, cub 06-2708 eventually warmed to his new companion. Before long they were chasing one another, wrestling and behaving like young bears. This was exactly what bear 06-2708 needed—an intense regimen of exercise to strengthen his injured leg. The cubs shared their space for the next four months, growing bigger and stronger every day.
In June, the day arrived for cub 07-0064's release. Arriving early to prepare her for the journey to her release site, wildlife staff found cub 06-2708 lying on his side, sound asleep. Cub 07-0064 was dozing directly behind him, her head resting on his rump. Although it was necessary to separate the cubs and return each to the region where they were found, we hoped by end of the day, cub 07-0064 would be feeling more relieved at her newfound freedom than saddened by her lost companionship.
The female cub's release took place in a wilderness area near Mount Rainier. Cub 06-2708 was successfully released just 12 days later near the North Cascades National Park. PAWS' ultimate goal for these patients was realized: two confused orphans had at last again become wild, free and independent bears.
Warmest thanks to everyone whose gifts helped us care for the cubs. Learn more about the many ways you can support PAWS.