That black bear cub that was spotted in Bend this week and captured is going home to the forest. And state wildlife officials say he has a very good chance of survival, despite his young age.
The male cub is approximately 7-8 months old. It’s considered a “cub of the year” since it was likely born during the winter months of 2022.
After first being spotted by residents in northeast Bend on Tuesday, it was spotted in the City of Bend’s Utility Department compound Wednesday morning and tranquilized.
It’s still unclear why this bear was prematurely separated from its mother. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said it has received no reports of dead sow in the area. The prevailing theory is that the bear simply lost track of where it was and wandered into the city.
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“This bear is weaned. It’s not nursing anymore. While they’re still typically with their mothers at this stage, there are studies that show yeah they can survive on their own at this stage,” said Michelle Dennehy with ODFW.
Dennehy also says there was no sign this bear was foraging for food in people’s garbage cans.
Wildlife officials said the bear is being released into the Deschutes National Forest, but didn’t say specifically where other than an area that “biologists considered good bear habitat.” ODFW says Bears are feeding on a variety of plants, nuts, seeds, and berries at this time of year.