State wildlife biologists have recovered a second orphaned bear cub in as many years near the top of the Cuesta Grade.
A Department of Fish and Game warden found the five-month-old female bear cub in a tree near Highway 101 and Tassajara Creek Road on Saturday. The cub’s mother was likely killed by a car, although the carcass of an adult bear has not been found, said Bob Stafford, a Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist.
“It would be really weird for a mother to abandon a cub,” he said.
It was the same location where another orphaned female cub was found last year. The top of the Cuesta Grade is a major wildlife migration corridor, and many large animals are hit by cars there. Earlier this year, the first cub was released back into the wild near the Carrizo Plain.
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The cub found Saturday weighs nine pounds and has a bad case of mange, a skin disease caused by parasitic lice. “She hardly has any fur at all and has got scabs all over, but she’s still feisty,” Stafford said.
Volunteers with Pacific Wildlife Care took care of the cub over the weekend. It is now on its way for treatment at the state’s wildlife veterinary clinic in Sacramento.
If veterinarians there determine the cub is likely to survive, it will be taken to a rehabilitation center at Lake Tahoe. The first cub was rehabilitated at the Lake Tahoe facility before being released.
“In some ways, she’s in good shape but the mange may have compromised her immune system,” Stafford said.