On the afternoon of July 21, the Center staff discovered that four Black Bear cubs had escaped out of the yards. Two cubs, Yellow Tag and White Tag, were within the perimeter fence. Two other cubs, Yellow/Pink Tags and Green White Tags, had escaped the entire Black Bear Complex and were near the building.
The team spent the next four hours containing the bears. In the end, Yellow Tag put himself back in the yard, and wildlife rehabilitator Maz was able to contain White Tag and also put her back in the yard with the other cubs. The two outside of the complex were darted by Dr. Karra; Green/White Tags was darted fairly quickly and contained. Yellow/Pink was darted but managed to evade the team until she climbed a tree and fell asleep. Dr. Karra staked out the bear for several hours until she was able to gently guide the bear back into the complex, where the cub was darted again.
Yellow/Pink and Green/White were in fine condition though had lost a little weight; both of these cubs were the smallest of the bunch that just moved to the Black Bear Complex last week. The team decided to keep them in the Center's Large Mammal enclosure for the time being until the Black Bear complex can be safely re-inspected. Wildlife rehabilitators Kelsey and Shannon were able to identify and temporarily fix a couple of possible escape routes; they also found that the hotwires on the Bear Complex were reading at a slightly lower level, likely due to some vegetation which needs to be trimmed.
The team will work on securing the complex this week and will wait for the two smallest escapees to grow larger and put on weight before moving back.