Bear Cubs Being Cared For At NJ Wildlife Refuge After Mother Killed

PITTSTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two baby bears that were rescued after a hunter accidentally killed their mother have a new home.

The orphaned 3-week-old bear cubs have been named Mike and Ike after the candy theme this year at Woodlands Wildlife Refuge in Pittstown, where they are being cared for, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.

“They came in good condition because they came right from Mom, but it’s that transition period of coming from the best possible perfect circumstance to anything but,” said Tracy Leaver of the Woodlands Wildlife Refuge.

The feisty pair stay in an incubator, each weighing only a pound and measuring about 8 inches.

“It’s amazing to me just how powerful these animals are, even when they are this young,” said Woodlands’ Melissa Anahory. “They’re born with really long nails and sharp claws and are very well-equpped.”

The growing cubs eat four times a day, napping the rest of the time.

“The baby bears are really cranky,” Leaver said. “They make up for their cuteness in how loud they can scream.”

Black bears have been spotted in every county in New Jersey, but the northwest region is considered “New Jersey bear country.”

“Unfortunate circumstances,” Leaver said. “A hunter in the woods inadvertently stepped into a ground den. Mom defended herself, and hunter defended himself. Unfortunately, she lost her life.”

Once the cubs reach 3 to 5 pounds, they will be placed out in the wild with a foster mama bear. Cubs usually stay with their mothers for 16 to 18 months before venturing out on their own.

The Woodlands Wildlifre Refuge runs on donations and with the help of volunteers. For information on how to get involved, click here.

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