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Bear in tree

A black bear cub eats dried leaves from a Grove Street tree in 2012 in Glens Falls.

We are lucky to have a number of organizations around here that provide invaluable help to injured or orphaned wildlife, North Country Wild Care and Adirondack Wildlife Refuge are two that quickly come to mind. They have helped innumerable deer, raptors, possum and other animals, important parts of our Adirondack ecosystem, that would have died otherwise.

I've read a few articles about a man in New Hampshire who has a similar mission, but his priority is helping orphaned baby black bears.

So every fall, his facility fills up with young bears whose mothers either are killed or abandoned them in tough natural food years like this year.

This article in the New Hampshire Union Leader explains that it is shaping up to be another busy winter at Kilham Bear Center. Thankfully we haven't seen as much bear orphaning around here, unlike the fall of 2012 when a drought wreaked havoc with wildlife.

As this article from Upstatenewyork.com shows, it was a pretty busy year for bear nuisance complaints in the Adirondacks, though. And there were undoubtedly some motherless young left behind.

I have a tough enough time caring for two kids and two dogs. I couldn't imagine a refuge full of baby black bears, many awake all winter because they don't have the fat reserves to hibernate.

-- Don Lehman

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