Teamwork saves young bear’s life at Laboratory

Starving black bear is rehabilitated

December 19, 2023

Black Bear Sm
The young bear on Lab property.

By Ty Horak

In our human-dominated world, we’re hard-pressed to find places where people haven’t built on top of animals’ natural habitat. It’s why wildlife and humans sometimes rub elbows, and, unfortunately, the encounters aren’t always harmonious.

Black bears, for instance, often become nuisance bears when they extend their range due to drought, wildfire, seasonal fluctuations in natural food resources, competition from other bears or exploration by juveniles separated from their moms.

It’s this last factor that likely led a young, starving bear to show up at one of our job sites at Los Alamos National Laboratory this summer. The bear made his home in a nearby culvert. Then he began climbing on top of cars and — similar to many wild animals acclimating to human environments — rooting around in garbage as he searched for food.

> Read the rest of the story as it appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican.