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After a little confusion over his species — brown or black — Fish & Game put out a call to see who might be interested in the black bear cub. Richard Gilbreth, the executive director of The Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Boyd, Texas answered the call, and flew into Sitka on Monday to collect the cub.
Gilbreth says traveling with a small bear isn’t easy.
“It’s gonna be interesting, he’s gonna have to have a bottle. I’m hoping by the time I get to Seattle I can give him a bottle. And then from Seattle on to Dallas hopefully one more bottle will get him there.”
Gilbreth has traveled with bears before, and already has two black bears that he picked up in Valdez.
His sanctuary is home to many orphaned or neglected exotics, including panthers, brown bears and snow leopards — to name a few.
Gilbreth says the cub will have a relatively normal life, and when he’s old enough will be introduced to the black bears from Valdez.
“He’s gonna be able to play in ponds, climb trees, play in tree brush piles, eat wild grapes, eat wild acorns–he’s gonna have a normal life like a black bear would have, except he’s got human friends.”
Les Kinnear, co-founder of The Fortress of the Bear, says he would have liked to keep the cub. His current permit only allows him to keep two bears at the Fortress.
The cub’s progress can be followed on the Exotic Animal Sanctuary website at www.bigcat.org
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