A fed bear is a dead bear… unless we save it! | Scottsdale

Without mother’s guidance for 24 months on what to eat, how to make a safe den, and how to stay out of trouble, black bear cubs typically don’t survive in the wild. Since a bear can smell 2,000 times better than a human, it usually ends up in a trash can, which qualifies it as a “pest bear.” A bear with this tag is captured by wildlife authorities and may be “shipped” (euthanized).

Wildlife of the southwest Conservation center (SWCC) saved two black cubs from this terrible fate.

The first one came Cinnamon, born in the wild in 1999 in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson. A family from Mount Lemmon began to feed the mother bear and her calf. The practice of feeding any wild animal, let alone bears, is not a good idea. The two bears became a problem as they got used to the people. Labeled nuisance bears, they were captured, marked and relocated. However, due to his early exposure to food, the Cub had learned to associate people with food, which never went well. Nuisance bears have a few chances, but Cinnamon found itself in trouble again and without a shrine to take it, it would be destroyed. SWCC intervened!


Cinnamon has been at Southwest Wildlife for 22 years sharing an enclosure with another black bear, Heavenly, named after the ski resort near Lake Tahoe in California, where he was found in 2013, starving like a young motherless cub. . Despite attempts at re-education, Heavenly was never able to support herself in the wild and returned to the resort. The call came to SWCC asking for a place in the shrine. Now labeled as a nuisance bear, we knew Southwest was its last chance. Once again, we intervened.

Cinnamon and Heavenly get along well as long as they don’t need to be together! She often stays in her den during the day while Heavenly has access to the pool and waterfall. In the late afternoon, they change so Cinnamon can enjoy the pool and waterfall throughout the evening. Each morning she is happy to retire to her quiet den, where she will not have to interact with people, and Heavenly is happy to be the center of attention. You can enjoy the antics of Heavenly and Cinnamon on a wildlife walk. Register on www.sudwestwildlife.org.

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