Orphaned bear cub brothers found and saved by local care facility
California – Orphaned bear cubs found in Siskiyou County this month are growing healthy thanks to a South Lake Tahoe-based care facility.
The 4-week-old cubs were found in Yreka and taken to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care on March 12.
The brothers were named Blaze and Yreka, weighing 4.1 pounds and 4.3 pounds, respectively.
The cubs get fed every four hours. In the 17 days at LTWC, they’ve nearly doubled their weight at 7.8 pounds and 8.3 pounds, respectively.
“The main challenge we’re concerned with is we don’t want them to become habituated and relying on us,” Tom Millham said. “That’s why the only time we get them out is when we feed them. And then we give them some time to play in a playpen. The other 22 hours in the day they’re sleeping.”
Tom and Cheryl Millham have rescued 100 bear cubs since they contracted with California Fish and Wildlife in 2000.
Blaze and Yreka are the youngest.
“They go through the baby infant stage, and now they’re going into the terrible twos where they want to climb on the playpen,” Cheryl Millham said. “One will walk up and bat the other one.”
It’s unknown what happened to the mother. The sow’s body was never recovered, according to CDFW.
The cubs will grow throughout the year and will likely be released into the wild in early 2020.
“They learn fishing in the water, nuts– depending on where they are going to be released,” Cheryl Millham said.
They will be released within a 75-mile radius of where they were found. The Millhams estimate they will weigh between 85-100 pounds.
“Bears have really two predators—man and other bears. As long as they stay away from other bears and man they’ll be fine,” Tom Millham said. “We just want to make sure they’re not dependent on us. Right now, they need loving. Just like mom would give them.”
LTWC rescues all types of wildlife. To learn more, head over to the non-profit’s website.