by Photo courtesy of San Diego Humane Society

The San Diego Humane Society took in three orphaned California black bear cubs on separate dates after being rescued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the nonprofit announced today. 

Two five-month-old cubs—who came from Valley of Falls in the San Bernardino Mountains—arrived at San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center for rehabilitation on July 9 and July 12. The third cub arrived from Lake Arrowhead on July 15. 

A civilian killed the mother of the first two cubs after attempting to break into a cabin in Valley Falls. The nonprofit said the mother was conditioned to seek food from humans. 

The third cub is unrelated to the siblings, according to the nonprofit. The cub’s mother is believed to have been hit by a car near Lake Arrowhead.

“Typically, the cubs would stay with their mother for about two years,” said Andy Blue, campus director of San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center. “Cubs can be weaned at six to eight months but remain with their mother to learn to hunt and forage. Without their mother to protect them, young cubs of this size can be predated by other bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and other predators.”

According to the nonprofit, the Ramona Wildlife Center’s Project Wildlife team will provide a safe environment that allows the cubs to practice their natural skills and get the nutrition they need to grow.

The teams will reduce the human contact with the cubs to reduce their risk of habitation or food conditioning. The bears will eventually be released back into the wild. 

The SDHS’s Ramona Wildlife center includes a large outdoor enclosure. According to the nonprofit, the move outdoors will be significant because the bears are given access to trees, shrubs, and natural substrate. 

“​​They also get acclimated to the weather and have more opportunities to run, climb, play and forage for their food. The Project Wildlife team works hard to reduce human contact with the cubs, to reduce their risk of habitation or food conditioning, and increase their chance of survival in the wild,” the nonprofit wrote in a statement. 

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