Wildlife rehabilitation center nursing a small bear cub back to health

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center was found in 1983. 38 years later, the non-profit is dealing with a situation it’s never encountered before.

A pack of paper weighs five pounds. The wildlife rehab is caring for a baby bear that didn’t even weigh this much when it came in two weeks ago.

Jim Apgar has several bear tattoos. But there’s another bear that’s left its mark in a different way.

“Makes me feel really good, makes me feel really good,” Apgar, a Pocono Lake forest patrolman said.

A few weeks ago, the forest patrolman says Pocono Lake residents started noticing a bear and her abnormally small cub.

“The cub would run up to the mom and she would sort of like back-kick and swat him away,” Apgar said.

Days later, several people spotted the cub alone and screaming. Apgar helped catch the baby bear, which he believes was abandoned.

“I didn’t think he was going to make it, that’s the shape he was when I saw him,” Apgar said.

Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center took in the cub, which weighed just three pounds. He has now doubled his weight, thanks to a special fruit and formula diet.

“We have no idea why he’s this small. It is unheard of to my knowledge that a bear be born after February,” center director Kathy Uhler said.

This is the only wildlife rehab in Pennsylvania that’s equipped to take in bear cubs.

“We are the only place that has a facility and the experience to raise bear cubs and deal with injured bear cubs,” Uhler said.

The wildlife rehab is caring for four cubs in total. The goal is to release them back to the wild once they’re strong and ready.

“Pretty phenomenal what they’ve done so far,” Apgar said.

Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center relies 100 percent on community donations. To donate, visit http://www.poconowildlife.com/wp/how-you-can-help/.

It costs about $20 a day to care for a baby bear and that doesn’t include medical expenses.

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