Dozens of black bears orphaned or hurt during this summer’s wildfires in New Mexico are getting a second chance.
KOB-TV reports that The Wildlife Center in Espanola and Game and Fish biologists released five young bears into the forest Monday after fattening them up for months.
Three of those bears were orphaned during the Las Conchas fire. Center director Dr. Kathleen Ramsay said the cubs weighed around 25 pounds when she first took them in and now the largest weighs over 100 pounds. Those three were released together to increase their chances for survival.
After Monday’s release, the bear count at the rehabilitation center is 28. During normal years the center has about eight bears.
Ramsay said she hopes to release another 14 bears in the next couple of months.