Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care (LTWC) received two new bear cubs which were both about four to six weeks old on March 12. They came from the Yreka, California area and were found on a road.
A couple of things about these cubs that are different than other first year cubs turned in at this time of the year in the past. First, LTWC has never received any first-year cubs in March! Up until this year, the earliest any cubs have been received was in April and both times, they arrived on April 15! Secondly, the other two times cubs this young arrived, they were single cubs.
In addition, on Thursday, March 21, LTWC received a second year cub which was found in the fire area of Paradise, California. This male cub was very emaciated, thin and needing help. California Fish & Wildlife asked LTWC for help in getting some weight on this cub so he can be released back into the wild. This new cub – “Paradise” – will be with LTWC for six to eight weeks, then returned back to CAFW for release back into the wild. At this time, the prognosis looks very promising.
The fact that these two cubs, brothers, being raised together, will make the raising and rehabilitating job a whole lot easier, as the cubs can be with each other 24 hours a day while they sleep, play and eat together so they can interact. The long term plan is to keep them in the LTWC clinic for at least four weeks (possibly eight), then move them out into one of the larger cages in the compound, then, finally, into the bear cage where they will spend the rest of their rehab time until there are released, probably sometime early next year. They will be released within a 75 mile radius of where they came from (Yreka) and the location and date will be determined by the California Fish & Wildlife Biologist in that area.
These cubs came in weighing 1,879 grams (4.14 lbs.) and 1,989 grams (4.38 lbs.). After one week of care by LTWC staff, they each gained approximately one pound and are now both over 5 lbs. The cubs are being referred to as Blaze and Yreka. Yes, they both came from Yreka but the smaller cub has a Blaze on his chest so he is easier to distinguish, therefore his name. Under normal circumstances, LTWC refers to the cubs as to the location of origin. But, when you have more than one coming from the same area, we need to get inventive.
At this time, the cubs are on a feeding schedule of four feedings a day, every four hours starting at 8 a.m. Fortunately, like humans, they sleep during the night. But when morning hits, watch out! They let us know that they have not been fed in 12 hours and they want their formula! Soon, they will be introduced to soft food such as oatmeal, peaches and grapes. All wildlife love grapes! Then, as they grow, they will learn about fish as well as crawdads and other foods they will find in the wild.
Feel free to watch our web site (www.ltwc.org) and our Facebook page (Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care) for updates on these two little guys. Donations to help with their care while they are with us are greatly appreciated. Simply go to www.ltwc.org/support/donate. We appreciate whatever you can do to help us help these little guys grow up and get back out into the wild, where they belong!