Big Bear Lake, CA, October 2, 2012, 6am – The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is reminding people
who see bear cubs to leave them alone. Even if they appear orphaned, the most appropriate thing to do is to leave them in the wild. The DFG’s policy regarding orphaned cubs favors leaving them alone unless they are obviously sick or in dire need of assistance. The DFG assesses cubs on a case-by-case basis for diseases, parasites, and overall condition. The alternatives to leaving a cub in the wild are limited, and include holding a cub in a captive facility until winter sets in, placing it in a long-term captive facility such as a zoo, or euthanasia. Placing wildlife in captivity is inconsistent with the department’s goal of keeping wildlife in the wild, where they can behave naturally. With about 30,000 black bears in the state of California, encounters between people and bears are becoming more commonplace. In order to keep bears in the wild, where they belong, it is important that residents and visitors in black bear habitat stash their trash, and their food properly. Feeding wildlife is harmful to wild animals and illegal.