3 Orphaned Baby Bears Released Back to the Wild by Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Three orphaned baby black bears found early last year were released into the wild on June 13 by Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

These three, along with two other young cubs, have been receiving care and shelter at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, a rescue and rehabilitation facility for injured, displaced and orphaned wildlife. 

Two of the orphaned bears were brought to Southwest Wildlife because their mother was fatally injured in a vehicular accident, while the third was taken to the rescue center by Arizona Game and Fish after an unsuccessful search for the stranded cub’s mother. 

After months of care at Southwest Wildlife, the three male black bears showed proficient forging skills and natural behavior, demonstrating they were ready to be released. They were given a final health assessment and identification ear tags before the return to their natural home. 

Southwest Wildlife and Arizona Game and Fish made sure that the bears were taken to a suitable habitat where they can continue to live a fulfilled life in the wild. 

The remaining two younger cubs are still in rehabilitation at Southwest Wildlife and are being prepared to be released into the wild soon with new tracking technology that collects data on the bears’ lives and habitat. 

The rehabilitation of five young bears is not an easy task. On top of the medical attention they receive, each bear eats $30 worth of food a day. Southwest Wildlife depended on donations, volunteers and the community to prepare these bears to be in the best conditions to go back to the wild.

“The task of rehabilitating five baby bears was not easy, but we are so grateful for all the volunteers and donations that allowed us to raise these bears and prepare them for the wild. It is so rewarding to see their successful release knowing that Southwest Wildlife was able to impact these juvenile bears,” says Animal Care Manager Kim Carr. “The black bear population is managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, as they are a large mammal. We are so proud of this inter-departmental effort to save them, raise them and release them.”

Southwest Wildlife has successfully released more than 70 percent of the animals they receive back into the wild. Thanks to the efforts of Arizona Game and Fish and the care from Southwest Wildlife, the story of these three orphaned bears also ends with a successful release and a stronger chance at life in the wild than they had before. 

Click here for more information or to make a donation to Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. 

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