There’s a great chance of running into a black bear in Michigan, especially in the Lower Peninsula. Most black bears in Michigan are found in large, heavily forested areas. But what happens when a black bear cub is displaced from its mother?
First, if you find a bear den while traveling north Michigan, record the location with a GPS and contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). After locating a bear den, DNR wildlife biologists will determine whether the animal is a good candidate to join the Surrogate Sow Program. If so, they will fit the bear with a radio tracking device.
The DNR Surrogate Sow Program focuses on pairing motherless cubs with surrogates. “The main objective has always been to have a number of female bears we can use to raise cubs that come into the possession of the DNR,” said Mark Boersen, a DNR wildlife biologist at Roscommon. “You can trick females into taking additional cubs if it’s done right.”
How does the DNR bring together an orphaned cub with its new family? Recently they shared one of the many ways they do it.