Bear Cubs Ready For Release

Bear 1

Bear Cubs Ready For Release

Staff Report

Orphaned bear cubs Valley Girl and Cowboy, rescued months ago from the Valles Caldera, have packed on the pounds during their stay at the Cottonwood Rehabilitation Center and will be released this week.

As previously reported, the bear cubs were originally captured after their mother was destroyed by the New Mexico Game & Fish Dept. because she attacked a runner participating in a marathon in the Jemez mountains. The incident occurred when the runner frightened a bear cub and sent it scuttling up a tree. The mother bear responded and attacked the runner biting and scratching. State regulations requires any wild mammal that attacks or bites a human be euthanized in order to test the animal for rabies.

The cubs were captured a few days after the mother was killed and transported to the Cottonwood rehabilitation center in Sombrillo. The bears have been kept in an outdoor enclosure but intentionally not exposed to humans to avoid acclimatizing them to the presence of people.

The cubs soon after their arrival at the Cottonwood Rehab facility earlier this summer. Courtesy photo

New Mexico Game and Fish will release more information later this week concerning these cubs, following their release.

The Cottonwood Rehabilitation Center in Sombrillo was founded by Dr. Kathleen Ramsay to continue her efforts in the rehabilitation of New Mexico’s wildlife. The center specializes in treating and rehabilitating various types of wild animals. This year they have raised these two bears, along with another set of cubs from the Cloudcroft area. To donate to support the bear cubs and other wildlife being rehabilitated visit the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation website at