Three bear cubs get new chance at life

Three bear cubs get new chance at life
LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- Bear cubs learn how to forage for food from their mothers. So what happens when a cub is orphaned?

The PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood is caring for not one, but three bear cubs that lost their mothers when they were only a few months old. A female cub came in first after she wandered up to some campers, thin and alone.

About a week later, brother cubs were orphaned in Oregon. They were spotted alongside the road, where it's suspected their mother was hit and killed by a car.

While no one would want the bears to be orphaned, the addition was actually a blessing in disguise for PAWS. By housing the three cubs together, each learns how to forage for food and compete for territory.

"They are wild little cubs," says Wildlife Center Director Jennifer Convy. "They're all three very assertive and aggressive, and they don't like humans at all, which is great. So they spend a lot of time playing and trying to figure out what to eat in their enclosure."

While the bears act healthy, the wildlife workers want to be sure. So one by one, they capture the cubs out of their enclosure for a quick exam.

"All three of these little ones come in and were a bit anemic, so we'll be taking a blood sample to ensure that is improving," Dr. John Huckabee explains during the exam.

And they make sure the cubs are growing.

They are.

The male cubs have nearly doubled their weight, and the female more than tripled hers.

They're all still small, ranging from 11 to 15 pounds.

They'll live at PAWS for about a year, but they will see each other more than they ever see the humans caring for them.

Raising the cubs is expensive. If you would like to donate, go to www.paws.org