8 orphaned bear cubs safely relocated by CPW officers

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Eight orphaned bear cubs now have a much better chance of survival thanks to the work of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

CPW said Thursday that it recently constructed two artificial dens on Pikes Peak with the help of officers, staff and volunteers. The dens were built out of downed logs, small branches, pine boughs, hay, straw and alfalfa.

The bears spent last summer at Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation in Wetmore after their mothers died. CPW does not know how the mothers were killed, but said it was because of either getting hit by trains or cars, killed by poachers, or euthanized because they entered a home in search of human food.

The cubs were tranquilized and transported to their new dens — a process that took about two hours during a snowstorm.

Officers carefully positioned the cubs in the dens so they could easily breathe and rest. The dens were then sealed with alfalfa and a thick layer of snow.

“This is the kind of experience that motivates every CPW wildlife officer. We all chose this career to work with wildlife, so this is very personal with us. It’s so rewarding to release wildlife back into their native habitat. It was really gratifying to know we gave them a second chance to be wild bears,” said Frank McGee, the CPW wildlife manager who oversees the area.

CPW said that hopefully, the cubs will remain in the dens until spring, when they will emerge as 1-year-old bears and live in the forest with a healthy fear of humans.

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