Woodland Park Zoo welcomes 89-pound orphan brown bear cub

Jul 15, 2022, 6:47 PM
(KIRO 7)...
(KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

The Woodland Park Zoo received a recently orphaned brown bear cub from Alaska on Wednesday, according to a media release from the zoo.

The currently unnamed bear was found roaming alone on an Air Force base near Anchorage, Alaska.

After multiple reports of sighting of the lone cub, members of the Alaska Department of Fish and Wildlife determined the mother was no where to be found and the cub was too young to survive on its own.

A plan was hatched to lure the bear to safety.

“Usually bears have a sweet tooth, so we tried drawing her in with glazed donuts,” said assistant biologist Cory Stantorf. “However, this cub showed no interest in the donuts—she only looked but wouldn’t enter. Fortunately, one of our agents had Vienna sausages in his lunch, so we used those as an attractant instead and she liked the sausages!”

After the cub was captured, the orphan was brought to the Alaska Zoo, who provided the cub with care and a temporary home.

The zoo believes the mother may have been hit by a car, killed by another bear or killed illegally.

The orphan traveled by Alaska Air Cargo and arrived at the Woodland Park Zoo on July 13.

The last time the zoo received orphan cubs was 1994 when brothers Keema and Denali arrived from the Washington State University Bear Center.

Denali died in December 2020, just shy of his 27th birthday, due to geriatric age-related issues.

Over the next few weeks, zookeepers will focus on helping the orphan settle into her new home, introducing her to a new diet and getting her acquainted to her caretakers.

She is currently off public exhibit, but updates will be provided at zoo.org/brownbear.


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Woodland Park Zoo welcomes 89-pound orphan brown bear cub