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Why are there so many orphaned baby bears?

Posted at 10:42 PM, May 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-07 20:05:14-04

Waynesboro, Virginia - The Wildlife Center of Virginia has their hands full. The veterinarians at the center are raising six black bear cubs that have been orphaned this Spring.

A handful of orphaned cubs at the center is normal. Each year, cubs are brought to the center from all over Virginia where they're raised for about a year, and then returned to the wild.

However, some years are harder on the center than others. In 2013, the center cared for 17 cubs. There were so many baby bears running around that year, that the center ran out of space. So the Wildlife Center has to create multiple three-acre long pens for the bears once they get older.

The goal may be to get these bears ready to return to the wild, but why are there so many? The center says much of it has to do with human interaction. They say automobile accidents involving bears is a big problem. They also say that more people are finding orphaned cubs and bringing them to the center than ever before.

In about a year, most of the cubs that were brought in will be ready to return to the wild. However the Wildlife Center of Virginia expects they'll have another pack of bear cubs next Spring.

If you encounter a bear and are not sure what to do, contact the Wildlife Center at (540) 942-9453.

Related: 

Adorable bear cub found wandering in man’s yard now at Wildlife Center of Virginia

Virginia Wildlife Center to start releasing black bears Friday

Bear cubs at Wildlife Center of Virginia to get new home