Black bear cub headed to wildlife rehab after Boise man removed it from wild

A black bear cub removed from the wild by a Boise man will be rehabilitated and later returned to the wild, according to a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Officials said the male cub was “taken from the wild by a well-meaning citizen” on Oct. 19. KTVB reported that the man believed the cub was injured.

Fish and Game officers took the bear to the agency’s Eagle Health Lab on Monday evening, where veterinarian Mark Drew examined the animal. The cub was treated for an abscess, infection, abrasions and dehydration.

The agency determined the bear to be a suitable candidate for rehabilitation.

“The bear was not habituated to humans, our primary concern when evaluating a bear for rehab,” Fish and Game regional supervisor Brad Compton said in the news release. “This cub wanted to steer clear of people, and a bear that acts this way in captivity will likely exhibit the same behavior in the wild.”

Fish and Game’s Magic Valley Region drew criticism last week when it chose to euthanize a black bear cub that had been seen wandering in the Hailey area for several days. Officials said they believed rehabilitation would not be successful for that animal, which raised questions from wildlife rehabilitation specialists.

According to Wednesday’s news release, the bear is already at “a licensed rehabilitator in Central Idaho.” There are multiple facilities across Idaho that are licensed to rehabilitate wildlife. The news release did not specify which one the cub was taken to.

Fish and Game said the cub was born this spring and will stay at the facility until next spring, when it will be released to the wild. While at the facility, it will share an enclosure with another bear cub around the same age.

“While this story has a happy ending, it serves as a reminder that removing any big game animal from the wild is illegal under Idaho law,” the news release said.

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Nicole Blanchard is the Idaho Statesman’s outdoors reporter. She grew up in Idaho, graduated from Idaho State University and Northwestern University and frequents the trails around Boise as much as she can.