Bear cubs fall ill as they grieve mother’s death

The two black bear cubs at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve aren't out of the woods yet. The orphaned animals are on the road to recovery following a brief bout of illness.

The two black bear cubs at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve aren’t out of the woods yet.

The orphaned animals are on the road to recovery following a brief bout of illness.

The four-month-old bears, captured by conservation officers three weeks ago, began showing signs of illness once in captivity, according to a news release issued yesterday by Environment Yukon.

Some of the symptoms they exhibited included weakness, trouble breathing, lethargy and lack of appetite.

The cause of illness is believed to be post-traumatic stress brought on by the loss of their mother.

Conservation officers were forced to kill her on July 15 after she returned to eating garbage in the same Copper Ridge neighbourhood she’d previously been relocated from.

The cubs are being cared for at the wildlife preserve and their fate is still being determined, as they are too young to be returned to the wild.

The cubs have been treated with antibiotics and supportive therapy and are on the mend, the release stated.

“As of today, the male cub has almost completely recovered while the female cub remains underweight, but is responding well to treatment,” it stated.

Work is still underway to find the cubs a permanent home.

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve does not normally accept carnivores such as these bears and will need to find a facility for them elsewhere, if they’re going to survive.

Contact Myles Dolphin at myles@yukon-news.com

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