Created: September 18, 2020 06:36 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A wildlife rehabilitation center in Española has its hands full these days while they care for seven bears.
Coco, an orphaned bear cub was recently rescued from Los Alamos and taken to Cottonwood Rehab. Weighing in at only15 lbs, he’ll need to pack on a lot more weight and get to 65 lbs before he can be released back into the wild.
Dr. Kathleen Ramsay, who founded the rehab center, explained why it’s not open to the public.
“The only hope I’ve got of ever getting my bears back into the wild is to keep my bears absolutely wild,” she said. “So they don’t see anybody but myself and my son and that way we can keep them pretty phobic on people and that improves their ability to survive in the wild.”
Coco is just one of seven bears currently being cared for at Cottonwood Rehab. There are four cubs and three two-year-old bears.
Ramsay said providing care isn't cheap. On average, it costs $6,000 to rehabilitate a bear, a big part of which is used for food.
“Everybody thinks that bears eat dog food and bears don’t eat dog food,” she said. “We don’t want to teach them bad habits. Bears are an omnivore, so they eat meats and they eat a lot of vegetable protein and fruit.”
If you’d like to help, Ramsay you can donate to the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation by clicking here.
“New Mexico doesn’t have acorns and I order acorns out of a farm in Arkansas, and we bring those in and freeze them and bring them in by the hundreds of pounds and that way we've got them available when we need them. Again we’re buying insects—that’s not a cheap proposition,” she said.
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