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Orphaned Bears Find Forever Home in S.F. - By Nuala Sawyer - August 14, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Orphaned Bears Find Forever Home in S.F.

The new baby boy bear. (San Francisco Zoo)

The phrases “visibly emaciated” and “perilously malnourished” were used to describe two orphaned baby black bear cubs, discovered in May and June hundreds of miles apart in the wilds of Alaska. Weighing 14lbs and 15lbs respectively, the little fuzzballs were transported to the Alaska Zoo, where they soon doubled in size thanks to the tender loving care of employees. Once they were happy and healthy, a permanent home was sought — and San Francisco Zoo jumped at the chance.

“These two cubs are the first black bears at the San Francisco Zoo since 1976, and their story powerfully affirms our mission to inspire care for nature and advance the cause of conservation,” said Tanya Peterson, CEO and executive director of the San Francisco Zoological Society. “As a nationally recognized haven for rescued animals, our top zoological professionals and innovative wellness programs offer an ideal sanctuary for our newest additions. It also enables us to continue to educate the public about the importance of protecting wildlife amid the mounting dangers facing animal habitats, including human-animal conflict, which is the likely cause of these cubs’ peril.”

The baby bears were given a month to adjust to their new home before being exposed to the publics’ oohs and aahs, but now have the run of their new exhibit. They can be found in Uulu’s old habitat, left vacant after the geriatric polar bear passed away at age 36 in April. 

The fuzzy duo have yet to receive names, but Zoo employees have considered opening up the process to the public.