In the town of Willow, a brown bear sow killed a moose calf in a resident’s backyard. The man was afraid the bear might try to attack his dog, so he killed the sow*, not knowing she had cubs (now known as Joe Boxer and Patron). Once he saw the two cubs, he called the area wildlife biologist to notify him of the situation. The biologist, who happened to be a former gymnast, daringly climbed to the top of the skinny tree the cubs were hiding in. He was able to grab the smaller male cub by a rear leg, holding on to the tree with the other hand. He climbed down and lowered the cub into a fish net. The second cub was more of a challenge: she was a large female cub and acted aggressively. The biologist climbed to the top of the tree, injected her with a sedative, then grabbed her by the scruff. As he began to climb down, the skinny birch tree began to bend and crack. The tree bent all the way over, delivering the biologist and the cub safely to the ground!
After they were rescued and monitored, the two bear cubs came to live at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in 2004. The siblings have since thrived! They are both found wandering their large enclosure of bushes and trees, digging in the ground, or catching fish in the stream running through their enclosure! The siblings also enjoy roughhousing with each other and their fellow bear, Hugo.
*In Alaska, killing a bear in defense of life or property is legal.
About Coastal Bears:
JB and Patron are both Coastal Bears, commonly referred to as brown bears. The Coastal Bears tend to be larger than their brothers located in the interior of Alaska, the Grizzly Bear. Coastal Bears are bigger because they have more access to rich fish runs. They also do not face as cold and brutal of winters as the bears of interior Alaska do. Bears are omnivores, so they eat deer, moose and a variety of birds as well as leaves and berries. Brown bears can weigh up to 700 pounds and almost always tower over humans!