The orphaned brother and sister grizzly bear cubs acquired from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department make their public debut today at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
The cubs were taken in by the state after wildlife officials there euthanized their mother. She was designated as a nuisance bear after three incidents of bear-human interaction. The mother bear was captured and relocated twice. When she returned to the same populated area of the Lower South Fork of the Shoshone River Valley a third time the decision was made, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to euthanize her.
After a routine stay in quarantine, the new cubs are ready to begin exploring their Northern Trek exhibit, which was specially prepped for young bears when Cody and Cooper arrived from Montana in July. The new cubs are approximately 7 months old and between 70 and 85 pounds, the same age and weight as Cody and Cooper.
For the first few weeks, the two sets of cubs will alternate being on exhibit. Cody and Cooper will be out for part of the day and the brother and sister cubs will be out part of the day as well. Eventually, once the cubs are acclimated to one another, all four of them may be out on exhibit at the same time. Zoo officials plan to move two of the cubs to the Akron Zoo in 2013 when its new Grizzly Ridge exhibit is scheduled to open. The decision on which of the cubs makes the move will be determined closer to the completion of Akron's exhibit.
Once again, the Zoo wants the public to help determine names for the cubs. Visit clemetzoo.com and help us �Dub the Cubs 2.0� by voting in the online poll now through September 30. Results will be announced October 3.
Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis), a subspecies of brown bear, were once widespread throughout the U.S. and Canada. Their range has shrunk toward the northwest with most now occurring in Alaska and western Canada, although their numbers are on the rise in some areas of the contiguous U.S., especially in and around Yellowstone National Park.
Grizzlies in the wild have an average lifespan of 20-30 years, and typically live a few years longer in captivity. They are solitary animals in the wild, unless a mother is caring for cubs, in which case the cubs will stay with the mother for up to three years.
Northeast Ohio's most visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $11 per person, $8 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.
To learn more, visit clemetzoo.com or call (216) 661-6500.