Normally, black bear cubs stay with their mothers for about a year and a half after birth and rely on her for warmth, food, and protection during those first months.
So when one mother black bear was struck on Highway 200 in Montana this past week while crossing the road to get water from a nearby river, her newborn cubs were left orphaned. Without their mother, the two-month-old cubs were doomed since no one was there to protect or feed them.
“The cubs are young,” said Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Brady Murphy who discovered the mother’s body by the road. “They were born just a couple months ago.” Murphy knew the cubs didn’t stand a chance without their mom, so he tracked down their den hoping to find the babies and bring them to a rehabilitation center.
When he finally tracked down the den, the cubs were nowhere to be found, but Murphy wasn’t going to give up that easily. “I just went back this morning and thought I’d go check, and there they were,” Murphy said about the cubs that appeared to be in good health still. “I’m sure they’re hungry. They’d been without mama for a while.”
Murphy captured the cubs and brought them to the Montana WILD Wildlife Rehabilitation Center where the cubs will gain their strength until they can be released back into the wild next fall or spring. “I have very few volunteers that are actually hands on with the bears. And we don’t talk, don’t make eye contact with them when were servicing them in the enclosures. We do everything we can to just disassociate ourselves from them, so they have the best chance to go out as wild bears,” said Lisa Rhodin, Coordinator of the Montana Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
Can you imagine what would have happened if this hero hadn’t found the cubs in time? Let us know what you think in the comments below and please SHARE this with friends on Facebook.
[Featured Image: Facebook/Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 4]