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Orphaned Bear Cubs Die After Equipment Malfunction

Wild Instincts Facebook

Two orphaned bear cubs being cared for at an animal rehabilitation center north of Rhinelander died suddenly after their incubation unit malfunctioned.

In a Facebook post, Wild Instincts says the young cubs were being kept in a high tech intensive care unit.  The temperature in the ICU was slowly being lowered with plans to move the cubs to their next stage Monday

Shortly after the noon feeding Sunday, Wild Instincts says a heating element in the cubs ICU silently malfunctioned. The malfunction was enough to melt some of its housing but not enough to set off the ICU alarms. It resulted in the cubs dying from the toxic fumes.

The two bear cubs were admitted January 16, when they around five days old.  The brother and sister weighed just over a pound each when they came in. 

Wild Instincts says many farmers let their corn dry on the stalk in the field because fields were so wet this year. The mother bear apparently thought a cornfield would be a good spot for a den. 

The farmer was harvesting the corn and the mother ran off.  That left the cubs orphaned, but they were not hurt by the harvesting equipment.  They were brought to Wild Instincts to be cared for.

In the Facebook post, Wild Instincts said they were devastated by the loss.

John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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