New wild bear cub at Bear Center in Ely

By KBJR News 1

January 10, 2014 Updated Jan 10, 2014 at 7:16 PM CDT

Ely, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A little orphaned bear cub has just joined the clan of ambassador bears at the Bear Center in Ely.

The cub, named "Holly", was brought from Arkansas to the Bear Center in Ely less than two weeks ago.

"She looks strong and healthy and at 84 pounds she's bigger than the average wild bear of her age," said Judy Thon, a bear curator at the Bear Center.

Holly was only two months old when an Arkansas fire separated her from her mother, and following that separation an Arkansas man found the young cub and took her in.

"The authorities eventually took it from him and tried to raise it for rehabilitation," said bear researcher Lynn Rogers.

However, by that point Holly was deemed non-releasable, as she was already human acclimated, and was therefore transported to Ely.

"She's a little hesitant, she's in a brand new environment... smells different, it sounds different, and when she got there there was this much snow," said Thon.

And if you think Holly looks cozy and comfortable in her new home... well that's because she is.

Although Holly came from Arkansas she still has ties to the Northland.

"She's from Arkansas and that's where they re-established their bear population with Minnesota bears," said Rogers.

....giving her the genetic ability to withstand cold.

And the goal with Holly is to educate those in the Northland about black bear lifestyles and interactions.

"We hope she's going to dispel many myths and misperceptions, along with Ted, Lucky, and Honey that people have about black bears," said Thon.

Since Holly was separated from her mother during a crucial socialization period, she became more comfortable with humans than in the wild.

Elsa Robins
erobins@kbjr.com

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