Black bear cub rescued in Ulster County


A black bear cub was recently rescued in Ulster County after being found dehydrated and severely underweight.

On February 3, Environmental Conservation Officer Adam Johnson received a call from a concerned citizen stating that a bear cub was in a tree close to a local highway in Shandaken.

When ECO Johnson arrived, he saw that the bear cub was sitting in front of a trap entrance, contemplating if it wanted to follow the treats inside. DEC biologists previously set the trap to capture a bear cub in that area. The bear cub finally entered the trap, triggering the door release.

The cub was brought to a wildlife rehabilitator where it was determined to be dehydrated and malnourished, weighing approximately 10 pounds. Bear cubs this time of year should be close to 50 pounds and hibernating in dens.

Typically, at the end of January or early February, female black bears give birth to between one and six (average-two to three), half-pound blind cubs. Females with cubs usually do not emerge from their dens until April or May.

According to the DEC, this bear's survival is even more impressive considering that temperatures in the area were well below freezing for weeks prior to its capture.

"Nearly all negative bear encounters in New York are the result of hungry bears being attracted to human food sources,” according to the DEC. Bird feeders, barbecue grills, garbage cans and vehicles can all be sources of food for hungry black bears looking to replenish nutrients and body fat after a long winter. And once a bear learns where to get food, they will be back for more.

More info: Tips for homeowners to avoid problems with bears.