2 bear cubs OK after tip man offered them for sale
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Wildlife officials were trying to determine what a man at a Northern California gas station was really doing with two bear cubs he had in his possession.
Officials were called to the gas station in North San Juan, a tiny community about 75 miles northeast of Sacramento, after getting a report Wednesday on a tip line that a man was offering the cubs for sale, said California Department of Fish and Game Warden Patrick Foy.
When authorities arrived they found the man with the two cubs in a cage, but the man denied trying to sell the cubs, Foy said.
Instead, he told officials that he was trying to give the cubs what he referred to as a “good home.”
The man, who has not been named, told authorities that he had shot the mother of the two cubs when she tried to get into a tent-trailer that he was living in.
But when wardens searched the area near the tent-trailer they could not find any sign of a larger bear, or a bear carcass, Foy said.
The incident remains under investigation and the man has not been arrested or cited.
As for the bear cubs, one male and one female, believed to be four to five months old, Foy described them as in “good, healthy condition.”
They’re being cared for at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, a South Shore nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation facility.
“They looked very good, very healthy, and we did not see any indication that there were any problems,” Tom Millham, an official with the group, said after the cubs were given a complete medical exam.
The two cubs were being housed with another bear cub that was taken to the facility over Memorial Day weekend after it was found next to its dead mother in rural Humboldt County, Millham said.
“They’re climbing around and they’re doing fine,” Millham said. “Everything looks good.”
The facility is the only wildlife facility in California licensed to rehabilitate bears and return them to the wild, according to officials.
Before the most recent arrivals, the facility has successfully returned 41 bears to the wild, Millham said. Volunteers hope to release the new arrivals back into the wilderness in about seven to eight months.
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