Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 11, 2012

Scrawny bear cubs a concern in NY


Niagara Gazette — Soprano said most of the small cubs she’s seeing don’t appear emaciated. “They appear to be younger than I would expect in November,” she said. “They have small bone structure, the size of beagles. I’m not sure what it means. It could be that they were quadruplets.”

Soprano and her husband, Len, keep the cubs in an enclosure deep in the woods and feed them with a trough pushed through a sliding door so they don’t become habituated to being fed by humans. The bears are released to the wild when they’re healthy.

Reed said officials will find out how adult bears fared with reduced food over the summer and fall when they compile reports from hunters over the winter.

He said the fluctuations in food supply and wildlife populations are nothing to worry about.

“We’re trying to tell people this is a natural thing and if they see undersize cubs, leave them alone. Don’t feed them,” Reed said. “Some won’t make it through the winter, but that’s how nature works.”

'Smart' bear killed by hunter A black bear that gained notoriety when she learned to open bear-proof backpackers' food canisters has been shot dead by a hunter. Wildlife officials say the 20-year-old bear known as Yellow Yellow was killed on Oct. 21 in the town of Jay in the eastern Adirondacks. Her name came from the yellow ear tags biologists had placed on her. The bear was so well known for her ability to work the locks on BearVault food containers that the company advertised that its product was approved for use everywhere but the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Dave Winchell said the hunter contacted DEC because the bear was wearing a radio collar. Her yellow ear tags were missing.

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