In early March, two small bear cubs were found along Highway 96 just outside Yreka. The cubs were moved to the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care to care for them and raise them into fully-formed juvenile bears.
Now, a Tahoe couple known for raising bear cubs has taken them into their homes with plans of releasing them into the wild in 2020.
Tom and Cheryl Millham have rescued 100 bear cubs since they began working with the California Fish and Wildlife in 2000. The two bear cubs, who sparked a poaching investigation when they were found in Siskiyou County, will be raised to up to 100 pounds before the couple releases them back into their original home.
With the protective nature of mother bears, it was a rare sight to find such young cubs alone. The case was so suspicious that California Department of Fish and Wildlife reached out to the public in hopes of finding some information in relation to the poaching of their mother.
Now, the Millhams are in charge of the complicated process of raising the cubs to be self-sufficient in the wild. They want the cubs to grow big and strong without becoming reliant on their surrogates.
“Cheryl and Denise have set up a feeding schedule that will have the cubs eating every 4 hours four times each day,” said the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care on Facebook “Should they tell us (through their growth) that they need more (or less), then we will adjust that schedule.”
Officials hope to release the cubs early next year within a 75-mile radius of where they were found in Siskiyou County.