It's unclear if the cub was abandoned by its mother.
Multiple concerned citizens north of Durango are heroes to a bear cub that would have died without intervention.
The cub was seen attempting to feed from bird feeders, which isn't entirely uncommon (though definitely something homeowners need to discourage), except bears should be in hibernation right now. It isn't known if the cub had wandered away from its mother or was abandoned, but it was clear that it needed help.
In addition to being extremely emaciated, it was also spotted with bloody paws, indicating a serious injury. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) received several reports from area residents and was able to locate the bear.
This bear cub couldn't get to sleep! It was found wandering a subdivision north of Durango, emaciated with paw injuries. After being called, wildlife officers found the cub Monday morning. It's been taken to Frisco Creek for rehab. @COParksWildlife pic.twitter.com/uqooquVnWP— CPW SW Region (@CPW_SW) January 5, 2021
The cub has been taken to Frisco Creek, the wildlife rehabilitation facility operated by CPW near Del Norte. Here it will receive the proper treatment for its wounds, as well as the vital nutrition it needs to return to health.
The rehabilitation center will also play an important role in the development of the cubs. It will be as isolated from people as possible to deter habituation behavior that it has already shown. The Frisco Creek Center will also prepare the cub for winter hibernation when it is well enough and will release it back into the wild in the spring.
Frisco Creek has been very successful in the rehabilitation of black bear cubs taking in up to 20 in a typical year to rehabilitate and/or prepare for hibernation. In recent years, it has taken in several young bears that have been injured in the wildfires that have swept the state, such as a poor cub burned in the East Canyon Fire.
Please always remember to call CPW if you see injured wildlife. Do not attempt to rescue them yourself and never feed our state's wild animals.