Starved and Injured Baby Bear Released Back into the Wild After Recovering

One bear cub is celebrating another chance at life thanks to efforts by local rehabilitators.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) shared a video yesterday on social media of an adorable bear cub being released back into the wild. The sweet clip shows a healthy little bear jumping off of a pick-up truck along, juxtaposed against images of her when she was found in January, injured and starved.

"After a little over four months of being at our Frisco Creek Rehabilitation Facility, the bear cub that was found north of Durango in January has been released back into the wild!," wrote CPW on their Facebook page, along with the video.

They added that when found, she was "extremely emaciated, weighing just 13 pounds, and suffered minor injuries to its paws." The images shared in the video show raw, red injuries on her paw.

After a little over four months of being at our Frisco Creek Rehabilitation Facility, the bear cub that was found north of Durango in January has been released back into the wild. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/dSzrBg6jKs

— Colorado Parks and Wildlife (@COParksWildlife) May 11, 2021

"She was transported to our rehabilitation facility in Del Norte where she was brought back to health," CPW wrote. "During her time at Frisco Creek, her injuries have healed, and now weigh approximately 55 pounds!"

CPW, National Wildlife Research Center, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Colorado State University are part of an ongoing research project studying the impact of urban environments on black bear behavior and their encounters with humans, giving insight into how bear cubs such as this are affected by human encroachment on their land.

According to CPW, black bear-human encounters and conflicts are increasing in Colorado and across the country and are likely to continue as "residential development expands and changes in weather reduce the availability of natural foods for bears."

Earlier in May, a 39-year-old woman was killed in an apparent attack by bears on a highway north of Durango, the same area around which CPW is operating its research. Three bears who were found near her body were euthanized and two were found to have human remains in their stomachs.

"Every time we're forced to destroy a bear, it's not just the bear that loses. We all lose a little piece of the wildness that makes Colorado so special," CPW's bear aware guide reads.

In 2018, another female bear cub was rescued by CPW after burning all four of her paws badly in Colorado's 416 Fire. She was also treated at the Frisco Creek Rehabilitation Facility.

According to the 2016 data collected by CPW, there are between 17,000 to 20,000 bears in the state of Colorado, which is an increase of almost 5,000 to 8,000 compared to their population in 2002. Black bears, currently Colorado's only bear species, are typically more active from about mid-August through late September, as their appetite "naturally increases dramatically as they prepare for hibernation."

Baby Bear released into the wild
The bear cub who was released into the wild after being treated for four months. Colorado Parks and Wildlife/ Facebook/Colorado Parks and Wildlife/ Facebook