Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center Announces and Celebrates the Release of Three Orphaned Bears Back into the Wild

With joint efforts between Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, and Arizona Game & Fish, three of five baby bears have been rehabilitated and released into the wild.

Two of the bears were found and retrieved after their mother was fatally injured in a vehicular accident, they were taken in early last year. The third was found by Arizona Game & Fish and taken to Southwest Wildlife after the search for the mother was unsuccessful.

After receiving months of care, the three male black bears showed proficient forging skills, natural behavior, and were ready to be released. They were given a final health assessment and identification ear tags. Southwest Wildlife and Arizona Game & Fish made sure that the bears were taken to a suitable habitat where they can continue to live a fulfilled life in the wild.

The remaining two younger cubs are still in rehab at Southwest Wildlife and are being prepared to be released back into the wild soon with new tracking technology that collects data on the bears’ lives and habitat.

The rehabilitation of five young bears is not an easy task. With each bear eating $30 of food a day and receiving medical attention. Southwest Wildlife depended on donations, volunteers, and the community to prepare these bears for the wild. The team fed, cared for, and housed the bears for their temporary stay.

“The task of rehabilitating five baby bears was not easy, but we are so grateful for all the volunteers and donations that allowed us to raise these bears and prepare them for the wild. It is so rewarding to see their successful release knowing that Southwest Wildlife was able to impact these juvenile bears,” said Kim Carr, Animal Care Manager. “The black bear population is managed by the Arizona Game & Fish Department, as they are a large mammal. We are so proud of this inter- departmental effort to save them (AZGFD), raise them (SWCC), and release them (both agencies).”

Donations for their care can be made at