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Bear cub found near Platinum, euthanized

Posted: June 11, 2013 - 11:18am

BETHEL — A brown bear cub that was recently found near the western Alaska village of Platinum was euthanized because no permanent home was available, a state biologist said.

The young male cub weighed nine pounds when it was found by Jay Bitney, who was in the area for work crushing gravel, according to KYUK (http://is.gd/Xk0zCD).

The cub reportedly was being chased by dogs, so Bitney picked him up to keep him safe. The whereabouts of the cub’s mother are unknown.

Bitney contacted Alaska State Troopers on June 3 and a wildlife enforcement officer went to the village.

The cub was euthanized the same day, said state area management biologist Phillip Perry. He said he checked with state officials who find zoos and other animal facilities.

“At that point we were told that there are not any zoos in the U.S. that are requesting a single brown bear cub that was a male,” Perry said.

Perry said it takes a lot of work and funding to keep a brown bear in captivity where it can live up to 25 years old.

“A little cub’s pretty cute but they’re going to rapidly grow up and they need a pretty secure cage and they need a way to feed them,” Perry said. “It’s a big commitment.”

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