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SCCC Staff Assist in Bear Cub Rescue

Photo of rescued bear cub

Bear Cub Bound for Sitka Home

Spring Creek recently welcomed some very unexpected visitors to the facility. It was only a few months ago, that a first year black bear cub captured the attention of people throughout the state, after wandering into the Spring Creek smoke shack. The cub, later named Smokey, had been orphaned along with her two siblings, and was hungry and weak. After much media attention, Fortress of the Bear, a nonprofit in Sitka, agreed to give the bear a home. However this was not the end of the story.

Employees at Spring Creek received a big surprise on the morning of December 10, when another baby black bear cub, almost certainly one of Smokey’s litter mates, was found in the same smoke shack where Smokey was rescued almost two months before. The little girl, only 17 pounds and with porcupine quills protruding from her snout, was severely malnourished and on the brink of starvation. Most black bear cubs her age would be well over 50 pounds, and her survival was not assured.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the dedicated employees of Spring Creek jumped to action, contacting Alaska Fish and Game, the Seward Animal Shelter, and Fortress of the Bear. After some light bear wrangling, the little girl was transferred to a kennel and transported to the Anchorage Zoo, where after a successful surgery to remove the porcupine quills, she made her final journey to be reunited with her sister in Sitka.

— Assistant Superintendent Bobby Lockeby