One of three cubs orphaned by famous bear’s death captured

LEBANON, NH (AP) — One of three black bear cubs orphaned by the recent death of their famous mother was captured on Monday morning and will be taken to a rehabilitation centre for the winter.

Officials have been searching for the cubs since last Tuesday, when the mother bear known as Mink was found dead. She had gained fame when New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu spared her life in 2017 and when she travelled thousands of miles in a looping route through Vermont and New Hampshire to return to her home territory after being relocated to nearly the Canadian border.

Andrew Timmins, bear project leader for New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department, said the male cub was captured near Route 10 in West Lebanon.

“We’re getting reports of the other two being in the area,” he said. “The reporting has been very helpful, and I think we’ll continue to be successful.”

Although officials initially thought Mink had been hit by a car, a necropsy performed last Thursday at the Kilham Bear Center in Lyme suggested she died of natural causes. Ben Kilham told the Valley News the procedure also revealed that the bear, previously thought to be in her teens, was between 20 and 30-years-old.

Kilham will care for the eight-month-old cub over the winter and release it in the spring. Its siblings were believed to have been spotted off Route 120 near the Hanover-Lebanon line on Saturday, and authorities are hopeful they are travelling back to their den and stomping grounds near the Mink Brook Nature Preserve.