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Orphaned bear cubs relocated to artificial dens for return to the wild

Posted at 6:55 PM, Jan 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-15 20:55:15-05

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. — Eight orphaned bear cubs are now settling in for a long winter's nap thanks to Colorado Parks & Wildlife officers.

Officers took the tranquilized cubs, each weighing upwards of 100 pounds, to two secluded den sites on Tuesday. They placed them inside the artificial dens and left them to spend the remainder of the winter in hibernation. The plan is for them to wake up in the wild in the spring.

“We are coming out here and giving these bears a second chance and I think it’s a win for everybody,” said Philip Gurule, District Wildlife Manager.

The bear cubs have been at a rehabilitation center since the summer after losing their mothers to accidents or euthanization.

“That’s the hard part for me at least to wrap my head around,” said Gurule. “But I think I get some joy out of it knowing these cubs are going to a good place. They are coming out here, and we are taking them away from that urban interface.”

For the safety of the bears, the location is not being disclosed. Wildlife officers said they could not risk anyone disturbing the bears during their hibernation.