Two bear cubs captured, mother missing

Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two brown bear cubs whose mother has disappeared were captured near Willow Creek, but a third escaped by scampering up a tree, according to a state biologist.

The bears, about 5 months old, were seen with their mother late last week, but on Saturday were seen alone feasting on salmon tidbits at the mouth of the creek, said Herman Griese, a Mat-Su based biologist with the Department of Fish and Game.

Griese visited the area on Sunday and found the cubs were fine but determined even if their mother was alive she probably would not return.

The two cubs who were captured were taken to Big Game Alaska in Portage where they will stay until a permanent home can be found. Mike Miller, owner of the game park, said the cubs were in good spirits.

''I like having them when they are cubs but not when they get older,'' Miller said. The cubs are the only bears that Big Game Alaska currently has.

Griese said he hasn't given up on trying to catch the third cub before it becomes a nuisance bear. He said two bears in Willow who habitually feed out of a trash bin may have to be shot.

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