Orphaned bear cub goes to Denver Zoo

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A six-month-old brown bear cub, orphaned near Alaska's McNeil River, is bound for a new home at the Denver Zoo.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game employees captured the 45-pound cub on Saturday after its mother was found dead of natural causes on July 1, the department said.

Another cub, believed to be a sibling, has not been seen since the sow died. The surviving cub was hiding in alders near the base camp used by visitors to McNeil River Falls.

Biologists considered its chances of survival in the wild fairly low, and because of its proximity to the visitors' camp, they decided to intervene. A floatplane flew the cub to Homer where it was met by the curator of animals at the Denver Zoo.

The zoo recently obtained another brown bear cub from Whitefish, Mont., and was looking for a companion, the department said.

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