Orphaned Grizzly Cub Dies

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Sadly, efforts to rescue an orphaned male grizzly cub - did not save the cub that was captured near Augusta, Montana. The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department thought that the cub might have a chance if they stepped in. The cub had been seen alone in the area for 6 weeks, and was taken in on June 24th. The cub was around 28 lbs, and was presumably born during the winter. Best guess is he and his mother got separated when coming out from their den. He was living off of dead carcasses in the area. A healthy bear at the same age would weigh between 40-50 lbs.

The cub died the same evening he was rescued after being transported to a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks center in Helena. The cub would not have been able to survive on his own in the wild, so the department took a chance. The cub, about five months old, died from a combination of its poor condition and the immobilizing drugs used in the field. From KXLH.com.


groovy mike's picture

I agree Arrowflipper


I agree Arrowflipper.  It was a tough call for the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department either way, and it would be a risk of receiving bad press as a result of their decision, no matter what course of action they decided on.

I do applaud them for trying to save the grizzly cub too - although I wonder if there might have been a better method of going about saving him.  I know I'm Monday morning quarterbacking but I wonder about the option of leaving the cub in place with some sort of supplemental feeding without a lot of human contact.  You in no way want the bear to associate humans with a food supply, but if he was already living off carcasses in the area, why not just drop a carcass into the area once a week until he was big enough and stable enough to forage on his own?  Just a thought from someone thousands of miles away and with no expertise whatsoever in that field. 

arrowflipper's picture


Ouch!  That one hurts.  Unfortunately, the game department is in a no win situation.  They will more than likely be blamed for the bears death due to the tranqualizer.  People will be quick to rip them apart and say they should have just left the cub alone. 

On the other hand, had they not done anything and the cub died, (which he would have) those same people would have screamed that the department should have stepped in and taken care of the cub.  Sometimes it's hard to know what to do.

With that said, I applaud them for trying.  It was obvious that the bear was going to die if they stood by and watched.  At least they gave it a try.