It’s always sad when wildlife is struck by a car.
It’s even more tragic when orphaned babies are left behind
But this week in Arizona, a trio of cubs has been saved from an uncertain fate after their mother was killed while crossing a roadway.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department said the “rare auto-on-bear accident” happened about 90 minutes north of Tucson on SR-77 early Monday morning.
This morning, troopers from District 6, Oracle, responded to a crash involving a bear on SR-77 at Dudleyville. The bear was deceased. With help, the trooper was able to capture the bear’s 3 cubs and turned them over @azgfd. #CourteousVigilance pic.twitter.com/2g7ZTGaYBK
— Dept. Public Safety (@Arizona_DPS) April 29, 2019
The mother bear was killed in the crash.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the three other cubs were found alive nearby.
First responders scooped them up.
A trooper even placed them in the back of a patrol car.
The cubs weren’t hurt and appeared to be in good health.
One first responder was scratched, but treated and will be fine, the Game and Fish Department added.
Bear cubs orphaned early today in a rare auto-on-bear accident no. of Winkleman on SR 77. En route to Scottsdale sanctuary in good health. One first responder scratched, treated and OK. Be bear aware out there. pic.twitter.com/ilIflbM88V
— AZ Game & Fish Dept (@azgfdTucson) April 29, 2019
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is now looking after the cubs.
They are estimated to be around 3-months-old.
“We’re so glad we were able to get the cubs safely to
@SWWildlifeCC where they’ll have top-notch care, the department tweeted. “Sad for them to lose their mom, but lucky that you guys were able to keep them safe!”
That’s where they are tentatively exploring their new surroundings.
— Nathan (@thefishfoto) April 30, 2019
So far, so good.
The centre says all three cubs ate on their own from dishes and were released into a small holding pen.
“They won’t need to be handled daily to be fed,” the facility explained. “That’s an important milestone in their journey toward possible release.”