From VT a bear story with a happy ending. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department successfully released several young orphaned bears back into the wild on Tuesday, after a short stay with a wildlife rehabilitator. The juvenile bears showed up malnourished in residential areas earlier this spring.
Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife worked in partnership with New Hampshire Fish and Game and the young bears were brought back to health by bear rehabilitators Ben and Phoebe Kilham in Lyme, New Hampshire. The bears were released in southern Vermont at one of Fish and Wildlife’s large wildlife management areas.
Forrest Hammond, Vermont’s lead bear biologist thanked the residents who alerted wildlife officials to the juvenile bears in distress. Hammond distinguished orphaned juvenile bears from ‘problem bears’ that have been repeatedly lured by human foods until they develop bad behaviors. There are no rehabilitation facilities or zoos that are willing to take a bear once it becomes a problem animal, so he urges people to avoid leaving out attractants such as bird feeders or garbage that can cause bears to associate people with food. He also urges residents to secure backyard chicken coops and bee hives with electric fencing to avoid attracting bears.