2 captured brown bear cubs make Alaska Zoo stop
Two young brown bears orphaned near Seward when their mother was killed this summer are now in Anchorage, on their way to a Southeast Alaska bear sanctuary.
The two cubs, both born this year, were captured Monday according to Ken Marsh with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The sow had been shot by a homeowner after it attacked poultry.
“One of our biologists came out, got the cubs and transported them to the Alaska Zoo,” Marsh said.
Although there are few spots available nationwide to place captive bear cubs at federally approved wildlife facilities, Marsh said the cubs’ capture coincided with two spots opening at Sitka’s Fortress of the Bear.
Pat Lampi, the zoo’s executive director, said the bears are being held in a private area but could leave the zoo for Sitka within a week. One of the cubs has a foot injury, which veterinarians are evaluating.
“They're not going to be available for public viewing, unfortunately, because they're going to be here for such a short time,” Lampi said.
Les Kinnear, director of the Sitka facility, had high praise for Seward residents’ help in the female bears’ capture.
“We’re very, very pleased that there were quite a number of citizens that got involved in efforts to save those cubs,” Kinnear said. “We took in two little black bears that were orphaned (in Seward in 2013), and now through the network of people in the community we’ve been able to do it again.”
Staff at the fortress were considering a visit to Anchorage as they assess other medical concerns for the bears, including having them spayed before their transport to Sitka.
“They will most likely be here for life,” Kinnear said.
Matt Faubion contributed information to this story.
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