Growing Bears in Española

 All photos in this article are taken using a remote webcam and are courtesy of Cottonwood Rehab Facebook page.

Growing Bears in Española

Staff Report

Rescued bear cubs are enjoying the late Summer days at the Cottonwood Rehab in Española. The two bear cubs rescued after their mother was destroyed by Game & Fish officials are reported to be healthy and growing strong at the Cottonwood Rehab center outside Española. Earlier this year the two bear cubs were orphaned after their mother was destroyed following her attack on a marathon runner in the Valle Caldera.

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. Other runners gathered around and provided assistance until medical services arrived at the site. State law requires any wild animal 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 rehabilitation center in Sombrillo. The bears are kept in an outdoor enclosure but intentionally not exposed to humans to avoid acclimatizing them to the presence of people.

The pair is likely to be released into the wild sometime around Thanksgiving, when they are sufficiently fattened up for winter.

The Cottonwood Rehab center also recently took in another set of cubs from the Coudcroft area. These more recent arrivals were captured after their mother was shot by a homeowner who felt that his dogs were being threatened by her, while she and the cubs prowled near his house.

Cottonwood Rehab was founded by Dr. Kathleen Ramsay to continue her efforts in the rehabilitation of New Mexico’s wildlife. To donate to support the bear cubs and other wildlife being rehabilitated visit the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation website.