The four Black Bear cubs at the Wildlife Center are doing well and growing quickly! The cubs are currently being bottle-fed and are also starting to eat food out of a bowl; they also have supervised play sessions in their sheltered outdoor space. Before the cubs were moved to this area, the rehabilitation staff took a few video clips, which we compiled here:
Wildlife rehabilitator Kelsey notes that the three older cubs are already much more coordinated in their movements! The younger cub will no doubt catch up soon.
DGIF biologists report that they have continued den checks, but no suitable matches have been found. Given the very warm temperatures, it's likely that it's too late to find wild foster mothers for these four. The rehabilitation staff are prepared to care for the cubs for the long-haul -- until spring 2021.
The three older cubs are now large enough to receive ear tags, which are used for identification purposes while they are cared for at the Center. This week, the rehabilitation and veterinary staff are applying ear tags:
#20-0107 (male): Yellow Tag
#20-0109 (male): Orange Tag
#20-0108 (female): White Tag
Wildlife rehabilitator Shannon shared the inside scoop on the goodwill and intent behind these color selections:
"Since all of these bear cubs came in very young, and therefore are more at risk for habituation, we wanted to give them certain tag colors that past bears patients had -- bear cubs who excelled in showing appropriate behaviors. In the past few years, bears with a yellow ear tag have been some of the largest bears in the group, and have proven to be more of the strong but silent types. They’re relatively unassuming but great playmates and protectors of their siblings. #20-0107 is already the largest bear, and is not as mischievous as his brother, Orange Tag.
"Orange Tag was chosen when we were hoping that all of these bears would be fostered onto a wild sow, and we needed to be able to designate between the two males. Orange nail polish is bright and easily identifiable, and so we chose the orange ear tag since he was already marked with orange polish. Past bears with orange tags have been quite playful and mischievous at times, and this bear is definitely living up to that reputation!
"Lastly, we chose white tag because the past couple of white tag bears have been fierce around human caretakers, but played well with their bear siblings. Overall, we knew that they had a great chance of success post-release. Our little 2020 White Tag might be small, but her personality is not!"