Black bear cub

Fish and Game Regional Conservation Officer Charlie Justus assists with the examination of the bear cub.

A young black bear cub, taken from the wild by a well-meaning citizen, was deemed a good candidate for rehabilitation and now resides with a licensed rehabilitator in central Idaho. Like others across Idaho, the rehabilitator operates under a permit issued by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

The young male cub will have a buddy, sharing a paddock with another cub of similar age.

While this story has a happy ending, it serves as a reminder that removing any big game animal from the wild is illegal under Idaho law.

The male cub was taken from the Garden Valley area by a Boise man on Saturday, October 19th. Fish and Game made contact with the man on Monday the 21st, eventually taking the young bear to Fish and Game’s Eagle Health Lab facility that evening. Fish and Game veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew gave the bear a thorough examination, treating the bear for an abscess, infection, abrasions and dehydration.

Black bear cub and vet

Fish and Game Veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew examines a young black bear cub taken from the wild.

Not all bear cubs are deemed suitable for rehabilitation. But following treatment and evaluation, it was decided this cub-of-the-year (born this past spring) was a good candidate. “The bear was not habituated to humans, our primary concern when evaluating a bear for rehab,” Fish and Game regional supervisor Brad Compton said. “This cub wanted to steer clear of people, and a bear that acts this way in captivity will likely exhibit the same behavior in the wild.”

The cub will continue to be rehabilitated through the winter and into next spring, at which time it will be released back into the wild.

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