One day, Richard Vaughan and his family let their dog out to play outside their Washington County, Virginia home. Soon, the dog came back.But this time, he wasn’t alone.
The dog brought home a tiny orphaned bear cub. The little creature was malnourished and his mother was nowhere to be seen.
Fortunately, upon making it to the Vaughan household, the cub was quickly taken to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, where it was given an incubator and feeding supplies.
The head of outreach at the center, Amanda Nicholson stated to Bored Panda:
“It’s a great example of all of us working together to provide what a wild animal needs most!”
After a short period, Amanda confirmed the new cub’s quick progress stating,
“The black bear cub was successfully fostered on Wednesday! He’s out in the wild with a new mom now.”
The cub was extremely dehydrated and weighed just 540 grams when it was found at Vaughan’s home.
Fortunately, all other things considered, the cub was found in good health with no truly major concerns.
Although malnourished, the cub was in capable hands.
Source: Facebook/Wildlife Center
According to Bored Panda, Amanda later began to describe the outreach program in further detail with regards to the new cub:
“We treat more than 3,000 wild animals each year in our hospital; a number of animals come to us sick or injured, and we have a veterinary team at the ready to provide whatever treatment or surgery is necessary. We also receive a number of healthy orphaned animals, and our rehabilitation staff will raise them until they are old enough to survive on their own back in the wild. In the case of this bear, we settled him into an incubator and calculated a ’round-the-clock feeding schedule with a specialized formula to meet his nutritional needs.”
After habitual feeding and attention, the cub began to regain its health and weight. Bottle-feeding was used as a primary means of bringing the cub back to normal.
Although tiny now, this male cub is expected to weigh around 250 kilograms once fully grown.
The Vaughan family dog should very well be considered a savior within the animal kingdom. Thanks to its curiosity and empathy (and bravery), the bear cub is now in reliable hands with a bright, although currently unconventional future.
Source: Facebook/Richard Vaughan
To make things even sweeter, the cub has been placed in care with others of the same species, quickly making new friends and everlasting bonds.
Most people love baby pictures, but baby bear pictures are their own type of cute.
Black bears are known to be formidable climbers and swimmers, easily scaling trees and crossing rivers while hunting. They are fairly common in both the United States and Canada.
The government of Alberta, Canada even has a guide regarding the handling of bear encounters and orphaned cubs.
Source: Facebook/Wildlife Center
The organization stresses not to interfere with bear cubs because protective mothers may be lurking nearby and cubs can be surprisingly self-sufficient.
Bear orphans are not entirely uncommon. Fires and other natural disasters, a mother’s inability to produce milk, and physically debilitating accidents can lead to orphaned cubs, especially in areas with a high degree of human interaction, according to Bored Panda.
Source: Wildlife Center
Keep in mind that in most cases, if you see a baby bear on its own, you should leave it. There’s a good chance that the mama is nearby hunting.
Still, in this specific case, the little bear probably wouldn’t have survived. And so, we’re glad the Vaughan family dog was there to save the day!