Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care takes in motherless cub found wandering in circles
January 16, 2017
On Saturday, Jan. 7, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care received its sixth bear cub since July 2016. The cub — approximately 1 year old — was found wandering in circles without his mother in a Greenville, California meadow.
"The people who saw him — I'm not exactly sure how — they were able to get him and take him to a friend's house in Quincy, and the friend knew the game warden in that area," LTWC founder Tom Millham said.
Upon examination, the warden decided the cub needed help and arranged for his transportation to LTWC.
"Because he was going around in circles, it gives us an indication that some kind of head problem is possible. Dr. Willitts came in on Sunday within 24 hours of when we got [the cub]. He knocked him out and examined him — as far as he was concerned, he couldn't see anything physically that was wrong with [the cub]," Millham said.
Nicknamed "Quincy" for the town he was picked up from, the cub weighed in at 33.5 pounds — about half the average weight of bears his age.
"That could mean any number of things, but the bottom line is if he's going around in circles and not eating, he needs help. That's why he was brought to us," Millham explained.
Quincy is no longer walking in circles, according to Millham, who also said the cub is not extremely active.
"He definitely is not as wild as you would think of a wild cub because usually — he's in the bobcat cage, where we start them off — usually they climb ramps or the chain link, but he hasn't done any of that. He's very docile and he's not eating a lot, but he loves his oatmeal," Millham said.
Millham's wife, Cheryl, believes the cub might be nursing, as he prefers soft foods to those he has to chew.
Quincy will forgo hibernation, and remain in the care of LTWC for the next three to four months. During this time, the organization will work to put weight on the cub and monitor his health. According to Millham, the cub was given to them in good physical condition.
LTWC is waiting for the doctor to analyze Quincy's blood report, and will plan future checkups depending on results.
"If he feels he sees anything in the blood, he might want us to give the cub a different diet or give him a medication or something, but he hasn't told us that yet," Millham said.
Quincy is kept in a cage separate from the other four cubs currently on the LTWC property. Apart from Quincy, the cubs at the rehabilitation center hail from Yosemite and Santa Maria, California, and will be released on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Exact details have yet to be worked out, but representatives from both the National Parks Service and California Fish and Wildlife will pick up their respective cubs and drive them back for release in the areas from which they came.
LTWC also cared for a cub from Ramona, California, from July to mid-December, when she was transferred to a private sanctuary named In the Company of Wolves.
"We realized there was a problem with the Ramona cub. Now she's down in Hesperia with In the Company of Wolves, and will be there for the rest of her life due to a head problem. We're not sure exactly what it was," Millham said.
Learn more about LTWC at http://www.ltwc.org, or like the organization on Facebook.
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