NYDEC shared an adorable video of a staff member holding a cub after they tracked a black bear den. The mission was to track the sow and replace her VHF (very high frequency) collar. After tracking the den and sedating the sow, the team discovered three black bear cubs. When a bear is sedated it’s usually for half an hour to an hour. During this time the cubs need to be protected and kept warm. That’s why in the video we see the little cub inside a team member’s jacket. Must be nice and cozy in there, giving that big yawn.
Each of the three cubs were weighed but not tagged. Since they all around three pounds they were not tagged. Collars are never placed on cubs due to their size. Once they start growing the collar would suffocate them. When the cubs are older, they can be tagged and collared. The DEC usually has 3-5 bears that they track yearly for research purpose. By tracking the bears they can find their next den, cubs, check their growth rate, test for any disease or injuries, and more.
While the above video is too cute not to play over and over again, it shouldn’t give you the idea to go looking for a black bear den. Please leave the dens alone, especially if the sow is in there. If there is a lonely cub or injured bear, call your local experts at DEC. They can safely assess the issue and provide correct care. Never steal a bear from the den or go destroying a black bear den because you don’t want it near your home!