An orphaned black bear cub that was transferred to a wildlife center in Ramona earlier this month has been medically examined and appears to be in good health, officials said.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife trapped the 7-month old cub on Dec. 15 after it showed it was getting used to people near the city of Bishop, said Nina Thompson, spokesperson for the San Diego Humane Society, in a statement Wednesday.
The cub was then taken to the Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center, where medical staff performed a visual exam on the animal, Thompson said.
Wildlife Center staff plan to conduct a variety of tests in the near future to determine the gender of the bear, do blood work, a dental check and X-rays.
“This little bear is very active and eating well.” said Andy Blue, campus director at the wildlife center, in the statement “It is our goal to get (the bear) stronger and keep them healthy for at least three months, so they can return to the wild where they belong.”
The Humane Society’s Project Wildlife program staff say the cub is eating a diet of eggs, honey grasses, walnuts, gruel and fish. It weighs approximately 30 pounds.
The bear is being housed inside a hospital facility, but the plan is to move the cub to a larger outdoor enclosure in the near future, Thompson said. There it will have access to trees, shrubs and environmental conditions similar to its natural habitat.
“Typically bear cubs would stay with their mother for about two years,” Humane Society officials said in a statement. “While at the Ramona Wildlife Center, the Project Wildlife team works hard to minimize human contact with their patients, to reduce their risk of habitation or food conditioning, and increase their chance of survival in the wild.”
Four California black bear cubs currently live at the Ramona Wildlife Center, officials said. Three arrived in July and will be released back into the wild in spring.