New bear cubs arrive at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care | SierraSun.com

New bear cubs arrive at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care

Sierra Sun staff

Two new bear cubs — both between 4-6 weeks old — landed at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care in March, after being found on a road near Yreka.

It marked the first time the organization had received first-year cubs as early as March, said Tom Millham, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care secretary.

“Up until this year, the earliest any cubs have been received was in April and both times, they arrived on April 15,” Millham wrote in a newsletter. “Secondly, the other two times cubs this young arrived, they were single cubs.”

Less than two weeks after the cubs arrived, another furry friend needing care, a second-year cub found near the devastation of Camp Fire in Paradise arrived.

“This male cub was very emaciated, thin and needing help,” Millham wrote. “This new cub – ‘Paradise’ – will be with LTWC for 6-8 weeks, then returned back (to California Fish & Wildlife) for release back into the wild. At this time, the prognosis looks very promising.”

The younger cubs came in weighing just over 4 pounds each, After one week of care by the Wildlife Care staff, they both are now over 5 pounds. They’re being referred to as “Blaze” and “Yreka.”

They both came from Yreka, Millham wrote, but the smaller cub has a “blaze” on his chest so he is easier to distinguish, therefore his name. Under normal circumstances, he added, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care refers to cubs as to the location of origin.

“But, when you have more than one coming from the same area, we need to get inventive,” he wrote. “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 the two at the clinic for at least four weeks (possibly up to eight weeks), before moving them into the larger cages in the compound, and finally, into the BEAR Cage where they will spend the rest of their rehab time until released, probably sometime early next year. According to Millham, they will be released within a 75-mile radius of where they found, with the location and date determined by a California Fish & Wildlife biologist in that area.

The cubs are currently on a feeding schedule of four feedings a day, every four hours starting at 8 a.m., Millham wrote.

“Fortunately, like humans, they sleep during the night,” he wrote. “But … when morning hits, watch out! They let us know that they have not been fed in 12 hours and they want their formula!”

The cubs will soon be introduced to soft food such as oatmeal, peaches and grapes. As they grow, they’ll be introduced to fish, as well as crawdads and other foods they will find in the wild.

Visit the organization’s website (http://www.ltwc.org) and its Facebook page for updates on the cubs.

“Donations to help with their care while they are with us are appreciated,” Millham wrote, at http://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,” he wrote, “where they belong!”