CPW relocates orphaned bear cubs 

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CPW had to euthanize 27 bears as a result of human-bear conflicts in 2017, and at least nine orphaned bear cubs had to go to a local rehabilitation facility run by volunteers. Last week, CPW relocated seven rehabilitated bear cubs at undisclosed locations on Pikes Peak, putting them into man-made hibernation dens so they would wake up in their natural environment this spring.




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Bob Falcone
Three sedated bear cubs were transported to the CPW office in Colorado Springs from the rehabilitation facility near Wetmore, Colorado in a special trailer. Onlookers were able to peek inside to see the cubs. Four other cubs were transported in another trailer.
Bob Falcone
Although CPW was hoping to not have to sedate the cubs for the trip to Colorado Springs, the cubs were difficult to round up at the rehabilitation center. Side note: They snore rather loudly. And smell pretty bad.
Bob Falcone
Once we arrived at the bears' new home, the sedated cubs were removed from the trailer and placed onto sleds.
Bob Falcone
The cubs, muzzled and hobbled — just in case — were put into the sleds. When these cubs were sent to rehabilitation they weighed only about 12 pounds. Here, they weighed about 150 pounds.
Bob Falcone
With only two sleds, one cub was left napping in the trailer while the other two were taken to the den.
Bob Falcone
The cubs were transported to the hibernation den using sleds.
Bob Falcone
One by one, the cubs were brought down to the den.
Bob Falcone
The man-made dens, smaller than you may think, are usually carved out of snow. Snow makes a good insulator, and the tight quarters allow the cubs to stay warm during cold temperatures. With very little snow this winter, the dens had to be constructed from tree branches and limbs and other materials found nearby. Here, CPW wildlife officers are putting one of the cubs into the den.
Bob Falcone
Another cub is put into the den.
Bob Falcone
Once all inside (one is out of view), the cubs were then given a drug to slowly reverse the sedative and the den entrance was closed. When the cubs come out of hibernation, they'll be able to exit the den to a natural habitat.
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Bob Falcone
One by one, the cubs were brought down to the den.

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