Black bear cub waits in Sitka for zoo home

Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010

SITKA - A 5-pound black bear cub found outside Gustavus will be kept at a bear rescue facility in Sitka until a zoo in the Lower 48 is ready to receive it.

The bear was sent to the nonprofit Fortress of the Bear, founded by Les and Evy Kinnear.

The cub initially was reported as a grizzly. State officials wanted to take the bear to Juneau for identification but the Kinnears refused to turn it over, fearing it would be euthanized.

Fish and Game Department Tom Schumacher acknowledged that a black bear cub would have been euthanized. He said Thursday, however, that the state had found a facility that wanted a black bear cub.

Schumacher says the state typically does not take a wild animal into captivity unless it has a facility ready to accept it. He says a zoo is seeking a grizzly.

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