TUCSON, Ariz. — Three bears who were orphaned and rescued near Oracle earlier this year are back in their natural habitat.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department says the bears' mother died after being hit by a car in April 2019. That's when AZGFD, the Hayden Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers and a good samaritan rescued the bears and brought them to a Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center facility in Scottsdale.
“Right now is about the time they would be leaving their mother and venturing out on their own, so we’re trying to simulate that as best we can in a controlled environment,” James O’Brien, clinic manager and veterinary technician for SWCC, said in a news release from AZGFD. “We’ve minimized human contact in caring for them. They are big enough and ready to be released back into the wild.”
The three female cubs were tranquilized, checked out by veterinary staff and fitted with GPS ear tags before being released in a remote area of central Arizona, AZGFD said.
AZGFD says the three cubs will stay together for some time before getting used to their habitat and separating over time.