Lost bear cub shadows Manti, sent to rehab
By Robert Stevens
MANTI—An orphaned bear cub, now named Maple, was rescued from a tree on the outskirts of Manti last week.
The cub was taken to a rehabilitation facility at Utah State University, where he is joining with two other cubs, to be fattened up so he can be returned to the wilds later this fall, said Darren DeBloois, Game Mammals Program coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR).
The male black bear cub was seen wandering around the edge of Manti, and his mother was nowhere to be seen, DeBloois said.
In late fall, after his rehabilitation, he will be released back to a remote area in the Manti-La Sal National Forest so he can find a den for the winter, he said. The bear will be equipped with a monitoring collar.
DeBloois said that most of the rehabilitated cubs find a den and survive until the next season and beyond.
The cub is estimated to be about 8 months old and he is responding well to his new surroundings at USU, said Julie Young, wildlife biologist and USU associate professor.
It was the USU staff that named the cub “Maple” after observing its propensity to climb. “He is a very active climber and he is always first to climb on anything,” Young said.
The DWR partnerships with the Forest Service and USU to care for orphaned bears until they are old enough to be released into the wild. Young estimates her staff has helped between 20 and 25 cubs during the last eight years.
If you would like to watch the cubs, USU has provided a live web cam, https://qcnr.usu.edu/bear_cam #Utah.