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Placement Sought for 2 Black Bear Cubs at the Wildlife Center of - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Placement Sought for 2 Black Bear Cubs at the Wildlife Center of Virginia

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Two young bears at Waynesboro’s Wildlife Center of Virginia could be in big trouble if they don't find a new home.  The bears are overly-friendly toward people and that's a potentially deadly problem for them.

You wouldn't normally expect being too friendly to be a problem, but after being kept as pets the first few weeks of their lives, the two bears have lost their fear of people and now because of that, their lives could be in jeopardy.

Ed Clark with the Wildlife Center says, "If we are not able to find appropriate placement for these animals, then the only alternative is euthanization."

Clark says he hopes that doesn't have to happen, but there might not be another option. “There’s a point of no return, when that loss of fear of humans cannot be reversed."

When you first see the two black bears, they seem friendly, sniffing, and playing around. The animals came to the Wildlife Center last spring after being pets for the first month of their lives. It's illegal to keep bears as pets, and one person was arrested in this case.

“These animals are incredibly strong, and they're wild animals.  They still have all the wild instincts.  This bear doesn't necessarily like people, he's just not afraid of us anymore and that becomes a dangerous situation,” Clark said.

Now that fearlessness toward humans is putting their lives in danger. They can never be released into the wild. “It is certain that he would make a beeline for someone's back porch or someone's bird feeder," Clark stated.

Clark worries if that happened someone would shoot the bears in fear.

The Wildlife Center is looking to find them a new home, but that's not easy, the animals are expensive to care for.

“They are victims of human behavior, poor choices by people,” Clark said.

There is some good news, Clark says the Wildlife Center is looking at a few places to send the two bears. He's optimistic they'll be able to find a new place for them to live.

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