3 bear cubs rescued after mama bear killed in car crash

ORACLE, Ariz. — Three baby bear cubs were rescued Monday morning after a car crash north of Oracle, Arizona, that left their mama dead.

According to the Department of Public Safety, troopers from District 6 in Oracle, responded to a crash involving a car and a bear on SR-77 at Dudleyville.

The mother bear was killed instantly after she was struck by the car.

But the troopers were able to capture the trio of now-orphaned cubs and turn the babies over to the Arizona Game and Fish Department in Tucson. The Hayden Police Department as well as a witness in the area helped corral the cubs.

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“[The cubs] might not make it out there, so he just wanted to do his part,” DPS spokewoman Trooper Vanessa Sevilla said.

The cubs were evaluated, then sent to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale.

“They’re only 4 months old, so they’re pretty helpless right now,” explained James O’Brien of Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.

There, the cubs will receive rehab and get ready to be potentially released back into the wild.

“Bears are incredibly smart animals,” O’Brien said. “They need to be challenged. Our bears here are given games to play and puzzles to do.”

A first responder who was scratched on the forearm while rescuing the cubs was taken to Oro Valley Hospital for treatment.

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