Development, News

Detroit Zoo takes in three orphaned grizzlies

Ok by now you’ve probably guessed I love zoo. That said I couldn’t resist doing a quick post on the newest additions to the Detroit Zoo … three orphaned grizzly bear cubs.

The 10-month old brothers were rescued earlier this month by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) after a poacher shot and killed their mom. Right now they’re being cared for at Anchorage’s Alaska Zoo and are scheduled to arrive in Detroit in a couple of weeks.

“It’s tragic that the cubs’ mother was killed. We will take good care of them,” said Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoological Society executive director.

The poacher who shot the mother grizzly has been arrested and will be prosecuted. Right on!
With no mom these little guys were hungry and were spotted several times in residential areas near Anchorage looking for food. Since they’re still cubs the ADFG contacted the Detroit Zoo and asked them to take them in because they felt the cubs would not survive the harsh Alaska winter on their own. A female grizzly bear typically cares for her young until they reach about 3 years old.

These guys are adorable … for now. They’re about 2½ feet tall and weigh 100 to 125 pounds. But when they are full grown mature males can grow as tall as 8 feet and weigh 800 pounds. Their average lifespan in the wild is 25 years.

You won’t be able to see the “kids” right away. They will be out of public view for 30 days to make sure they have no health issues and to give them time to adjust to their new surroundings.

The Detroit Zoo is also home to two other rescued grizzly bears, both of which were relocated twice in the wild before arriving at the Zoo as two-year-olds. A female Kintla, 27, was captured by Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in 1986 after showing interest in the area’s honey industry, frequently “inspecting” the beehives. A male Lakota, 26, arrived here from Wyoming in 1987 after being deemed a public threat at Yellowstone National Park and captured by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The grizzly bear (ursus arctos horribilis) of you want to know the scientific name) is a North American subspecies of the brown bear and gets its name from the grayish – or grizzled – tips of its fur. One of its most noticeable characteristics is the hump on its back, which is a mass of muscles that gives the bear additional strength for running and digging.

The grizzly bear is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and only about 1,000 remain in the continental U.S. Grizzlies still roam the wilds of Canada and Alaska.

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