Friday, June 3, 2011

Neighborhood Bear Cub...

The phone rang the other night, it was my friend & neighbor RJ.  He very casually asked if  "I was busy, or did I have a minute?"  I told him I could talk and his next question was "So... what do you feed a bear cub?"  Needless to say, I dropped what I was doing.  He had my full attention!  RJ is also the animal control officer for my very small town.  Typically, his calls are for roaming or misbehaving dogs.  This call was different.  Someone had told him about this little bear cub they had seen, staggering around alone.  He showed up fearing he may have to destroy the animal and instead, tossed a blanket over it and brought it home!  The cub appeared to be dehydrated, hungry and quite wobbly.  From my previous experiences w/ wildlife rehabilitation, I knew not to give it pasteurized milk, as it's little body would not be able to digest it.  Instead, Lauren (RJ's wife) gave her a little canned cat food.  Before we knew it, she was on  her 2nd little can.  They didn't want to feed her too much, as we didn't know how long she had been without food.


Look at this sweet face!  All you wanted to do was scoop the scared  little cub up in your arms and give her a "bear hug!".  But, she was only handled enough to move from a carrier, to this pen, then back into a carrier to be delivered to the game warden.  I hate to think of how many "photographers" would have taken this opportunity to exploit the young, sick cub and pose it for some pictures.  I can't say it didn't enter my mind, but as soon as that thought was there, it was gone again.  It was important to me, especially if the cub were to be released again, that she not be handled anymore than was necessary.  And even though it didn't seem to traumatize her too much, she was sick and scared.  And always, you need to remember that cute & cuddly or not, this is still a wild animal.  My parents taught me well!  I wish more folks would think in this manner.

Lauren transferring cub to dog crate for transport

Lauren & RJ ... had to get one photo of everyone, on the way to the dog crate
I was very pleased that they thought to call me!  This was a wonderful experience!  The game warden suspected this was a 2nd year cub.  RJ has invited me to go along when they go back to the wildlife rehabilitator's place to find out more.  When he got his crate back, he was told it was a female.  Don't worry Mom, I didn't try to check myself!!  Perhaps I'll have an update before too long.

RJ thinking.. "Honey, are you SURE we can't keep it??"


Anonymous said...

Love it! Bravo to you for your work ethic.

Jim B. said...

What a great story and pictures, sure hope she survives and can be returned to the wild ok.