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Adventure Arkansas: Meeting Baby Bear Cub In The Ozark National Forest

This week for Adventure Arkansas, we’re holding wild baby bear cubs.

In the late winter, baby bear cubs across our state are nursing and getting stronger every day. This week we’re hopping into our Adventure Subaru and teaming up with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to check up on a cub and his momma in a den deep in the Ozark National Forest.

“When she hears us coming up there, she will wake up if you rustle the leaves or do something like that, they’re going to wake up,” said Myron Means, Bear Biologist.

Upon arriving at the den, the heavy rains left an unfortunate surprise.

“There’s water running through her den, she’s back up here,” said Means. “It doesn’t sound like she’s very far.”

Using radio waves, we were able to track the mother bear to her new den, a dry crevice underneath a large rock.

“Try to be as quiet as possible, we want to keep her as calm as possible, I don’t want to make her nervous because that counteracts the drug that we use,” said Means. “The more hyped up she is, the more adrenaline she gets going, the less effect the drug has on her.”

Once the momma bear is sedated, we cover her eyes and quickly retrieve the cub, so she doesn’t roll over her baby. Then everyone’s favorite part begins, holding the newborn bear cub.

“Little boy bear, he’s 4.75 pounds,” said Means. “A few aging growth measurements to make sure he is growing like he’s supposed to.” “If we know when they’re born, and we know they average a certain weight at this age, we can determine whether or not they’re healthy.”

We even got to name the little boy!

“What’s your name little fella,” asked Matt? “Can we call him Garrett, hey Garrett!”

After checking up on the mom and giving her a new collar, we returned her cub and gave her a stimulant, so she could wake up quickly. That means it was our turn to get out of there quickly!

Snuggling the baby bears where you live, I’m 5NEWS Meteorologist Matt Standridge.

Segment Sponsored By: Adventure Subaru