Department of Game and Fish releases young bears back into the wild

SANTA FE — Three young bears who were orphaned earlier this year were released by New Mexico Department of Game and Fish staff into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in San Miguel County on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Two of the cubs were found earlier this year after their mother was hit by a car and killed on Interstate 25 in the Glorieta Pass area, The other was found near the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire area this past spring. Since their rescue by department staff, the cubs had been under the care of Dr. Kathleen Ramsay with New Mexico Wildlife Center, an Española-area non-profit specializing in the rehabilitation of sick and injured wildlife.

On the morning of Dec. 3, Ramsay and department staff prepared to transport the bears to their new home. The bears were sedated, weighed and examined before being ear-tagged. Prior to release, they were estimated to be approximately one year old and weighed between 89-120 pounds.

The bears were then transported to the mountains near South San Ysidro. As the doors to the cages opened, the young bears sprinted into the forest, eager to explore their new surroundings.

Ramsay estimated that she has worked with the Department of Game and Fish to rehabilitate and release approximately 700 bears over the past two decades.

For more information about bears and other wildlife, visit the department’s website. Visit New Mexico Wildlife Center’s website for more information on its work.