A family found this American black bear cub in Oregon and believing him to be lost or orphaned, took him home in April. Realizing they were ill-equipped to care for the animal, they soon called the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, who stepped in and found him lodging at the Oregon Zoo.
The two-and-a-half month old cub, was lucky to receive such an immediate response and the round the clock care he needed. However, getting this type of attention means he bonded with humans and would not be able to return to life in the wild. Further complicating the cub’s chances for a permanent home was the fact that the Oregon zoo already had four American black bears and their enclosure could not support another.
The Northeastern Wisconsin (NEW) Zoo stepped up to bat and offered to take the cub in the hopes that he would grow into a good companion for their lone black bear, Winnie. When the cub arrived at the NEW Zoo, he was dubbed Aldo. Curator Carmen Murach adopted Aldo & brought him home with her so he could have a parental figure until he adjusted to his new surroundings. Recently Aldo has been able to spend his nights at the Zoo so long as Murach visits frequently.
It will be some time until Aldo and Winnie can spend time together. He could be seriously harmed by even the slightest swipe from her paw if he got in her way. Since he has no mom to protect him – and Murach is only willing to carry the parental role so far – he will have to be introduced to Winnie slowly, over time.
Murach believes that in all likelihood, the family who “rescued” him, thought well-intentioned, probably took him from his mother. Adults often spend a great deal of time away from their young so as not to draw attention to the babies. She warns that unless an infant is found next to a dead parent, it is probably not alone and should be left where it is. Humans should not mistake a cub’s willingness to be handled by humans as an attempt to get help. Cubs haven’t learned yet to be wary and his mother could be just over the horizon.