The young black bear cub called Little Smokey has a new home.
The cub orphaned earlier this month near Seward will be a resident of Sitka’s Fortress of the Bear.
The non-profit educational center has featured only brown bears, but to give Smokey some company, the Fortress has agreed to adopt a second orphaned black bear to be donated by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
In a news release, Sitka Wildlife Biologist Phil Mooney said the cub arrived at his new home at 5 o’clock Friday morning.
The cub has become a social media sensation as people around the world monitored the animal’s capture.
His predicament started on Oct. 12 when law enforcement responded to reports of an adult black bear breaking into a vehicle outside Spring Creek Correctional Facility near Seward. The bear was wounded by police and disappeared into the forest.
Then authorities started receiving reports of two to three unaccompanied young black bear cubs in the Spring Creek area. A lone cub also was reported and captured by Alaska State Troopers, who asked Seward Animal Control to hold the cub until a home could be found.
Fortress of the Bear volunteered.
When Little Smokey arrived at the Fortress, Mooney said he was coaxed out of the shipping kennel with an apple slice. He ate several slices, drank some water and curled up on a mound of straw, Mooney said.
“It certainly appears to me that the cub has good care in Seward, given its disposition and condition, so kudos to the facility there,” he said.
Fish and Game estimates more than 100,000 black bears live in Alaska, with many more found in Canada. Black bears also live in about 45 of the Lower 48 states. Black bears have life spans of 15 to 20 years.
- October 7, 2015- Bystander Cate Ross and a friend were sitting on the deck outside The Hangar on the Wharf when she heard a splash.
- October 6, 2015- Jason Hart and Jeff Redmond lost their bids for Juneau School Board to incumbent Andi Story, and newcomers Josh Keaton and Emil Mackey in Tuesday’s election.
- October 6, 2015- The new mayor was the only change to the Juneau Assembly to come out of the elections. Assemblymen Loren Jones and Jerry Nankervis will both retain their seats for second terms.
- October 6, 2015- Gov. Bill Walker's administration spent $50,000 on Washington, D.C., consultants to help prepare them for a visit by President Barack Obama.