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  Baby bear is hibernating safely

by Joelle Babula
December 31, 1998

        The baby bear who was stranded after his mom and sibling were shot and killed this fall is doing just fine.
        “He’s fine. He went into hibernation the day after Thanksgiving.” Said Ann Bryant, a member of the Bear Preservation League and wildlife rehabilitator who has been taking care of Oliver, the bear cub. Bryant has been making sure Oliver is well fed and surviving on his own since his mom, Natalie, was destroyed in her Homewood neighborhood by a trapper with the California Department of Fish & Game.
        Bryant said she originally thought she’d have to make a den for Oliver in her wood shed for him to hibernate in, but he had found his own way instead.
        “He’s about an hour on snowshoe from my home,” Bryant said. “We’re monitoring him to make sure he’s doing okay. He was nice and fat and had an absolutely gorgeous coat before he went in.”
        Bryant said when Oliver rises in spring, she hopes he will no longer need her for survival.
        “He’ll be a year old at that time and hopefully he won’t have to come to dinner anymore,” she said.
        Since the killing of Natalie and one of her cubs, concerned locals formed the Bear Preservation League. Members of the league have met with county officials to discuss the change of policies and practices of trapping and killing bears.
        In a North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council meeting earlier this month, council members unanimously passed three motions regarding bear policy in Placer County.
        The council recommends Placer County develop an ordinance against feeding bears, they recommend the county publicize and enforce existing garbage ordinances, and they recommend the county support the goals of the Bear Preservation League. These goals encompass public education about bears and the non-lethal alternatives to dealing with bear problems.
        For more information about the Bear Preservation League, call 525-PAWS.