A male Andean Bear cub was sent to the City of La Paz on a plane last November 28th from Tarija and was immediately transported to La Senda Verde Wildlife Sanctuary in Yolosa. He has been placed since in his own spacious enclosure while he grows up until he is about 18-24 months old when he will be ready to be in a larger enclosure surrounded by an electric fence.
The cub is doing fine. It is important to explain that at La Senda Verde we never name animals upon arrival, we do so when we know them. Mymba had problems with his name because in Tarija they confused it with Nimba and people think its a female bear. Tarkus is his name now: Tar of Tarija and us of Tremarctus ornatus, the scientific name.
The cub was found on the roadside by a trucker in a section between Sucre and Tarija where Andean bears are known to exist. A female bear got scared by the truck and run with the two cubs. The smallest one got a bit behind. The trucker decided to stop, capture the cub and take him to his house, where he kept the him for more than two weeks. Later he called the environmental authorities in the City of Tarija to turn him in. Capturing the cub is never a good idea, it is virtually condemning him to a life in captivity for he will never be able to learn the abilities to survive in the wild his mother would have taught him. If he would have been left alone, the mother would have come back for him later.
The cub stayed in Tarija for three weeks while the formal requirements were fulfilled. National authorities advised he should be sent to La Senda Verde, where there is a place for the cub, but also the experience of raising bear cubs with appropriate diet and management. He has been placed in a 6x5x6 enclosure just for him, and he has been getting well habituated to the refuge and the caretakers.
We would like people to learn from the story of this cub. If you see a nest with chicks or an animal cub alone, don’t pick him up! You will be condemning them to a life in captivity. Baby animals are left alone from time to time while their mothers go in search for food. Tell your friends about it!