Three healthy bear cubs dropped off at the Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke received an unexpected trio Monday afternoon. Three healthy bear cubs were dropped off by a warden from the Virginia Department of Games and Inland Fisheries, said Sabrina Garvin, executive director of the Wildlife Center in Roanoke.

Garvin recalled to WFXR the circumstances under which the bears were recovered as told to her from the game warden. A woman driving down a road in Floyd County saw a man struggling as he carried a soft insulated freezer bag, Garvin said the warden told her. When she approached the man, she learned the bag contained three bear cubs, Garvin added.

The cubs ended up in the custody of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries who transported the three to the Wildlife Center.

Garvin said bears do not abandon their cubs, and is most likely the mama bear was out foraging for food. Garvin said mama bears do not venture too far when searching for food.

In the winter it is common for female bears to give birth to cubs, with the average birth date being mid-January. Bears will usually give birth to two bears at a time, and so, a litter of three is rare, Garvin said.

Bears sightings have become more frequent during the mild winter season, as the warm weather makes it difficult for bears to hibernate. During the spring and summer seasons, the bears build up their fat reserves, but with the warmer weather, they are burning more calories and need more food, Garvin said.

She said if someone entered a bear’s den to take the cubs, they put their life at risk.

“There is nothing more dangerous than a female with her babies,” Garvin said.

She said the cubs were in good health when they arrived at the center. The bear cubs will be transported this week to the Wildlife Center in Waynesboro for further care, Garvin said.

WFXR reached out to the Virginia Department of Games and Inland Fisheries but they were not available for comment.


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