The nearby California Wildlife Center got a tiny visitor Thursday evening. Members of the California Deptartment of Fish and Game brought a baby black bear to the wildlife rescue facility to be treated after it appeared to have been abandoned by its mother in Ventura County.
The three to four-month-old cub, which was found in an Ojai avocado orchard, had appeared to be without its mother for about three days, according to Cindy Reyes, executive director of the CWC. She said it's not known why the bear was separated from its mother. Bears generally stay with their mothers from one to two years.
The orchard owner caught the bear and brought it to the nearby Ojai Raptor Center, which notified the Department of Fish and Game. Because the CWC in Calabasas is the only facility in the area to have a full-time wildlife veterinarian, Fish and Game brought the bear to Calabasas to be examined, Reyes said.
Though the bear appeared thin and dehydrated, she appeared to have no other significant illness or injuries. The CWC rehydrated the bear and cared for her through Monday morning, when the bear was taken to a wildlife care facility in the Lake Tahoe area.
The CWC takes all species of wildlife, at least for immediate care, Reyes said, but the facility is not licensed specifically for bear rehabilitation, she explained.
Reyes said at this age, the bear would be weaned and starting to learn to forrage. At Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, the bear's diet may be supplemented with formula, but she will most likely be offered forraging items that she would find in the wild, preparing for her eventual release.