The bear cub “Tahoe” that mysteriously showed up at the BEAR League facility in Homewood two weeks ago was brought down from an area near Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
That’s where a man found the young, 5-pound cub crying and hugging her dead mother in the woods. The man told the BEAR League the story Saturday after calling to ask how the animal he dropped off was doing.
“That’s what the guy said, and I believe him because he was able to answer questions that only the person who brought her would have known,” said Ann Bryant, director of the BEAR League.
The unidentified man found the cub, took it home, then drove it down to the BEAR League the following morning.
According to Bryant, the man said he contacted authorities after finding the bear cub and was told to leave the animal alone — something he could not bring himself to do.
“My garage sits way out front of our house and blocks the view, so none of us saw anything. He just pulled in, put her in the kennel, said goodbye and good luck, and drove away,” Bryant said.
Bryant said it sounded like the man called Saturday primarily to see how Tahoe is doing. The cub is now with Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, a wildlife rehabilitation center in South Lake Tahoe.
“It seemed to me like he just called to check up on her. He said, ‘How’s that tiny little bear.’ We’ve been getting phone calls from all over and I assumed it was just another call, so I said she’s doing real good. Then he said, ‘I’m the guy who left her,’” Bryant said.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife will run DNA tests on the cub’s hair and blood to try to further confirm her origins, Bryant said.
Tom Millham, of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, said he and his wife, Cheryl, plan to care for the bear cub until California Department of Fish and Wildlife can release her back into the wild, probably next January or February.
The information on where the cub came from is valuable and will help the department release her in a suitable location, Millham said. “She’s doing great. She’s eating well, has a good set of lungs and is growing,” he said.