As winter gives way to spring, heavy snowfall begins to quickly melt, causing flooding in places that may be dangerous for young wildlife, like a bear’s den.
Two young bear cubs living near the Bad River Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin found themselves trapped in their own den as fast-melting snow turned to ice-cold water.
Deputies with the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office, Zach Pierce and Dylan Wegner, heard the terrified screams of the cubs and went to investigate.
The deputies rescued the shivering, soaked bear cubs and placed them inside the squad car while waiting for wildlife officials to arrive, WKOW-TV reported.
The cubs are now recovering at Wild Instincts, a wildlife hospital in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The male cub was in “pretty good shape,” Wild Instincts wrote, while his sister was “fair, borderline critical.”
Wild Instincts in Rhinelander is watching over these little cubs after deputies rescued them from a flooded den in Ashland County on Friday. Click the link to watch the video deputies shot as the bears were calling for help. https://t.co/4swGDLr7Vo
— WKOW 27 (@WKOW) March 25, 2019
The cubs will not be reunited with their mother, the hospital said, offering an explanation as to why mother bears sometimes have to abandon their cubs in times of flooding:
“Bears abandon dens for many, many reasons. Some involve human activities, some do not,” the organization wrote.
“Flooding is a common reason that we were expecting this year because of the huge snowfall and potential for fast melt,” the organization continued.
A young mother bear will leave her young in order to preserve her own life for the sake of future reproduction. If the mother feels it is necessary to abandon her young in order to save herself, she will.
“Many first-time moms of many species will leave their babies to save themselves. That is Nature. No judgments,” the organization explained.
The animal hospital reminded viewers that they are a working hospital and not a zoo, requesting that interested persons do not try and visit the bears.
Wild Instincts reported that the cubs are safe, and and the female is doing well after medical intervention.
The organization plans to raise the cubs only briefly before releasing them back into the wild, likely this fall, and are experienced with the process.
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