Bear ‘foster mother’ will raise a cub rescued by a pet dog
The rescue effort unfolded after the dog turned up at its owner’s home with a cub in its mouth.Updated: Feb 14, 2020 17:30 IST
An orphaned black bear cub has been placed with a substitute mother this week after being saved by a dog and brought to safety.
The rescue effort unfolded after the dog turned up at its owner’s home in Washington County with a cub in its mouth on Feb. 5, Bill Bassinger, wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, told news outlets. The male cub wasn’t hurt by the dog, he added.
The cub, estimated to be two to three weeks old, was taken to the Virginia Wildlife Center in Waynesboro for treatment and eventual resettlement with his own species. The center keeps female bears with monitoring collars on for this purpose, according to Bassinger. Conservation officers use the collars to locate the bears, then track them and listen for cubs making sounds in their dens, the center’s website says. If they find a good match, staff members place orphaned cubs outside the dens, and mother bears usually adopt them as their own, Bassinger and experts said.
“The mothering instinct is just very strong in most animals,” Bassinger told the Wytheville Enterprise. “Generally, most females will take the young back, even after it has been handled by humans.”
The male cub was settled into an incubator earlier this week where he received constant care and feeding, an update on the wildlife center’s website said. He was described as bright, alert and “vocalizing readily.” The center said the cub was placed with a new mother who was nursing three cubs of her own on Wednesday.
The wildlife center also shared a video of the cute cub:
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My hobbies include eating, and thinking about the next time I will be eating. . . . Black Bear cub patient #20-0064 continues to eat well for the rehabilitation staff at her round the clock bottle feedings; the bear cub now weighs 705 grams [a 139 gram increase since admission weight]. The staff have not yet heard from DGIF biologists on the search for a surrogate bear mother. . . . #wildlife #bearsofinstagram #wildlifeconservation #conservationeducation #wildlifehospital #wildlifemedicine #blackbearcub
What do you think of the little one?