Orphaned bear cub population booming at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Center
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIF. — The population is booming this year at the only bear cub rescue facility in Northern California.
The Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Center is tending to 10 orphaned bear cubs – the most it has ever had at any one time since it started taking in bears in 2000.
The center is the only bear cub care and rehabilitation site in the state licensed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “In the beginning, we’d take in two or three bears a year,” said Tom Millham, director of the facility.
In 2012, the center tended to a total of 11 bear cubs.
All of the bears at the 1-acre center are less than a year old – born in January or February. All hail from California. Some are brought from as far away as Temecula and Eureka, Millham said.
The exception is a 2-year-old cub called Cinder. That 52-pound female is recovering from severe burns from a recent fire in Washington state.
The bears live in a holding pen at the center and are fond of huddling together like kittens on a raised wooden platform.
A future introduction into the wild awaits all of the cub bears when they are ready, said Millham. The center only takes cubs, and seeks to keep them wild with minimal interaction with humans.
The care center has taken 69 bears in the last ...