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.
- For the second time this year, a Republican from Matanuska-Susitna Borough left the state Senate majority caucus.
- The U.S. Senate is working on the health care bill, and Alaska health commissioner Valerie Davidson is in Washington, D.C., to meet with Alaska's senators, Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski. One-quarter of Alaska's population currently is covered by Medicaid.
- Police posted this security video of the suspect on its Facebook page and described him as white, 25 to 30 years old, 6-foot-3 and skinny with scruffy facial hair.
- Uber and Lyft are negotiating with the City and Borough of Juneau over the collection of the city's sales tax. The companies insist it's the drivers' responsibility to collect and remit the 5 percent tax on fares.