Brookfield Zoo Welcomes Orphaned Alaskan Brown Bear Cubs After 20-Year Hiatus

Brookfield Zoo Welcomes Orphaned Alaskan Brown Bear Cubs After 20-Year HiatusSource: Facebook / Brookfield Zoo
Damon R. Sheffield
Published on November 21, 2023

Two orphaned Alaskan coastal brown bear cubs were recently delivered to Brookfield Zoo, marking the zoo's first intake of brown bears in over 20 years, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Discovered by Alaska's Department of Fish and Game, the 10-month-old cubs were transported to Brookfield Zoo on November 4th. During a temporary stay at Alaska Zoo, modifications were made to the Great Bear Wilderness area at Brookfield Zoo to ensure the cubs' safety, CBS Chicago reported.

According to Tim Snyder, Vice President of Animal Care and Programs at Brookfield Zoo, young brown bears are inquisitive and skilled climbers. He alluded to the cubs being withheld from public viewing until receiving clearance from a veterinarian, after which they will gradually be introduced into outdoor habitats and eventually to the adult bears, the Chicago Sun-Times shared.

The cubs' journey from Alaska to Chicago underscores the challenges wildlife faces due to human activity. Snyder mentioned that cubs were orphaned when their mother threatened local residents while scavenging for food in trash cans, a consequence of habitat encroachment, leading to increased human-animal interactions, the Chicago Sun-Times explains.

Through their presence at Brookfield Zoo, Snyder hopes that visitors will learn about brown bear conservation and habitat preservation. Institutions like the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Brookfield Zoo emphasize the need for animal rescue and conservation efforts.

The arrival of cubs should serve as a tool to raise awareness about wildlife conservation while demonstrating the value of wildlife ecosystems. Urban populations must understand the crucial role of institutions working to protect and conserve wildlife habitats. After all, the story of these cubs offers a first-hand view into the lives of brown bears and the perils they face.

By the time the bear siblings make their public debut at Brookfield Zoo, it is hoped that visitors recognize the critical impact human activity can have on wildlife and appreciate conservation efforts spearheaded by institutions like Brookfield Zoo, CBS Chicago reports.