Hunters Find Tiny Baby Bear In Forest And Do Exactly The Right Thing
He's the size of a kitten — and you can watch him on a live cam!
Last Saturday, two people were out in the woods of rural Virginia hunting for rabbits when they heard some tiny cries.
When they traced the sounds, they discovered a bear den with two tiny black bear cubs inside - but the mom was nowhere in sight.
The hunters realized they needed to do something for the helpless babies, so they called the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) to ask them what they should do.
In case the mom was on her way back, the hunters left the cubs there but told the VDGIF where the den was.
The next day a biologist with the VDGIF went to see if the babies were still there, hoping the mom had returned. But the bear cubs were still on their own, and one of the cubs had even crawled out of the den. He was cold and wet and obviously struggling to survive.
The biologist brought the cubs in and tried to warm and rehydrate them - sadly, one of the cubs passed away. The surviving cub was brought to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV).
"The bear cub did well during his first night at the Wildlife Center," Amanda Nicholson, director of outreach for the WCV, told The Dodo. "Our two wildlife rehabilitators - Linda and Brie - took turns with the nighttime feedings."
The bear cub, who is under 2 weeks old, needs to be bottle fed six times a day.
If all goes well for the tiny cub, he could be actually getting a new family soon.
The VDGIF has been tracking 10 female bears for a scientific study - and one of these bears could be the cub's adoptive mom.
"One benefit of that study is that it will hopefully give us potential surrogate moms for these situations," Nicholson said. "The biologists will be checking the den sites of these females this week; hopefully they will find a suitable sow and they will then take this cub and put him with a new mom."
Rescuers are hopeful that this plan works out for the little guy.
Until then, he's keeping warm and full, thanks to his devoted rescuers.
He's even winning over the hearts of everyone watching his recovery on WCV's live cam.
After all he's been through, he's certainly in good hands.
You can help this bear cub's recovery - and the other animals WCV rescues - by making a donation here.
Update: The little bear was matched successfully with a wild mother bear who will raise him as her own cub.