Three orphaned bear cubs, rehabilitated by the San Diego Humane Society's Ramona Wildlife Center, are back in the wild today.

The cubs spent nine months at the wildlife center and were released wednesday in the San Bernardino National Forest near Clark's Ranch.

"It is always our goal to rehabilitate and return all wildlife to their natural habitat,'' Andy Blue, campus director of SDHS's Ramona Wildlife Center, said in a statement. "This release in Clark's Ranch was very special for our team because it was relatively close to us, so we had multiple wildlife rehab specialists joining to witness it firsthand.''

According to the SDHS, all three cubs were rescued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and brought to the Ramona Wildlife Center in July of 2022.

An orphaned brother-sister pair came from the San Bernardino Mountains. Their mother had been conditioned to seek food from humans and was killed by a resident while attempting to break into a cabin. The third, a female cub, was rescued after her mother was likely hit by a car near Lake Arrowhead.   

Since their arrival, "the three cubs have grown healthy and strong together at the Ramona Wildlife Center in an outdoor enclosure that closely mimics life in the wild,'' veterinarians said.

The Project Wildlife team has kept an eye on the bears from a distance, making sure they did not become comfortable around humans and were prepared to survive on their own and forage for food.

The bears have also been microchipped, fitted with a GPS collar and given a clean bill of health from Project Wildlife's veterinary team.

There are two bear cubs still in care at the Ramona Wildlife Center. With this latest release, the center is making space for new orphaned bears found in the wild this season, as bear cubs are typically born in February/March.

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