Two bear cubs who were orphaned when their mother was shot and killed in Fairfield County have been rescued and are on their way to being rehabilitated by wildlife experts.
An investigation was launched on Thursday, May 12 when “Bobbi the Bear” a beloved animal who was known to roam the wooded areas of Newtown was shot and killed, leaving behind her two cubs.
Bobbi was shot multiple times on Scudder Road in Newtown by an off-duty Ridgefield Police Department officer, reportedly over a chicken coop invasion.
"We are aware that one of our officers was involved in an off-duty incident in which a bear was shot and killed in Newtown," a spokesperson for the Ridgefield Police Department said.
"The incident is under investigation by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and we refer all inquiries to them. We have no further information."
The cubs had been permitted to roam free in their home range, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), but on Monday, May 16, experts were able to safely tranquilize and crate the bears, who are now being shipped to an undisclosed rehab facility.
“Typically what happens, if a mother bear gets shot, or so have we seen in the last few years, DEEP will ensure the motherless cubs would go to a rehabilitation facility,” Connecticut Rep. David Michel, who has been an advocate for Bobbi and her cubs, posted on Facebook, along with photos and video of the rescue.
“Since the mother was killed, DEEP had personnel looking for them. Some of our CT Rehabbers also went on a search.
“So what happened yesterday?” he continued. “Our rehabbers actually found the cubs, and in order to have help to trap them and bring them to a rehabilitating facility, they called on DEEP, who was still looking for the cubs.”
According to the DEEP, the cubs appear to be in good health, and they are expected to be placed in the care of a licensed wildlife rehabilitation within the next 24 hours.
"The cubs appear to be in good health, but DEEP has concerns for their safety due to the risk of continued public interaction," they said. "DEEP wildlife biologists will be making every effort to make this process as smooth as possible for the cubs."
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