Desert Museum gets new black bear

There is a new black bear at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. She is an 11-month-old, rescued from an area near Payson, AZ, by the county sheriff.

According to the Arizona-Sonora Museum:

“The cub was originally found with a broken leg by the Gila County Sheriff’s department in Payson, AZ, where it is suspected she was hit by an automobile. Her age at the time was estimated at 5 months. She was transferred to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, Arizona where she was nursed back to health. Unsuited for reintroduction into the wild, her adoption by the Desert Museum was assisted by the Arizona Department of Game and Fish. The Desert Museum traditionally adopts orphaned or rehabilitated animals which are not suitable for release back into the wild.”

At the time of rescue, she weighed about 20 pounds, but now she weighs 111 pounds.

Currently she is getting used to the bear habitat at the museum. That area will be closed over the weekend to let the bear become familiar with the enclosure. Museum staff anticipate that the area will be open for public viewing on Monday, March 20 (if the bear cooperates).

The Museum’s previous bear, a 15½ year old, cinnamon-phase black bear, passed away on December 31, 2014. The bear’s passing was unexpected and a post-mortem examination was performed by the Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (a division of the University of Arizona). The initial findings indicate the cause of death to be acute cardio-pulmonary failure.

For information on bear natural history, see my ADI article “What color is a black bear.” That article shows a photo of the old bear.