Last April an 18-year-old female bear with four cubs (two males and two females) died of unknown causes on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. She left the cubs, weighing 7-10 pounds, wondering where their next meal would come from.
Ten months later the orphaned cubs, after skillful rehabbing at the Animal Ark, were released back in to the wild this past Wednesday. The operation was originally scheduled for mid-January but the record-setting winter delayed the operation.
The four bear cubs were between 7-10 pounds when they were taken to Animal Ark for rehab and preparation for release back in to the wild. They were placed into hibernation in late autumn. They now are expected to be between 60 and 70 pounds when placed in the artificial dens in the Lake Tahoe backcountry.