Hiker discovers adorable abandoned bear cub in Vermont woods

Cure bear cub rescued in Vermont woods
(Image credit: Vermont Fish & Wildlife / Facebook)

A female hiker stumbled across a bear cub “alone and crying” in the woods near Bristol in Vermont earlier this week.

The unnamed hiker contacted Vermont Fish & Wildlife, and two of its officers, Dale Whitlock and Justin Goodwin, soon arrived to help her rescue the distressed bear.

However, by the time they arrived, the little bear had moved on. The wildlife officers and the hiker teamed up and discovered that the cub had gone back to its abandoned den. 

Although spring is when bear activity restarts, there was no sign of the mother, so the wildlife officers contacted Kilham Bear Center, in Lyme, New Hampshire, and the decision was made to rescue the bear and move it there. 

Whitlock scooped up the abandoned bear and carried it out of the woods.

“The cub is now at the Kilham Bear Center where he will be cared for until he can return to the wild,” says Vermont Fish & Wildlife in a Facebook post about the incident. “Between exposure to cold and predators, the cub would not have survived without human intervention from trained professionals.

“This story also serves as a reminder that bears are active right now and we can all do our part to ensure that they remain wild,” continues the post.

Cute bear cub rescued in Vermont

(Image credit: Vermont Fish & Wildlife / Facebook)

Although it’s unknown how long the cub was alone, the department said it predicts it was by itself “for a while” because baby bears don’t typically cry out repeatedly. The cub’s crying indicates it may have been hypothermic.

“Every spring we encourage folks to contact their local game warden if they truly believe that a young animal has been abandoned,” the department says in the comments.

While this is a heartwarming story, it’s worth pointing out that if you do hear what sounds like a bear cub crying out in the woods, it’s probably best not to approach it yourself, in case it hasn’t been abandoned and mum’s still about. Contact the relevant wildlife authorities instead – they would rather deal with a false alarm than a mauling. See also: Five tips for safe backpacking in bear country.