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Mother bear was illegally shot and killed leaving three cubs orphaned Submitted: 05/27/2017

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RHINELANDER - Three bear cubs find themselves temporarily staying at Wild Instincts after someone illegally shot and killed the mother bear.

The DNR says the bear was shot on Wednesday, but it's still unknown who exactly shot the animal, or why they did it.


A resident near Larsen Drive in the Rhinelander area found the mother bear in their yard, with three cubs up in a nearby tree.

Live traps were set to catch them cubs and take them to Wild Instincts.

Director of Rehabilitation Mark Naniot says it's hard to say why someone would decide to shoot the bear.
"They might've been intimidated, some people don't like the fact that birds wreck their bird feeders, get into their garbage things like that, and try to take matters into their own hands," said Naniot.

Naniot says if someone finds a bear on their property they can give Wild Instincts a call to get ideas on how to safely turn the bear away. 

If the bear is causing a major problem, Naniot says people can call the USDA or Wildlife Services to get a bear trapped and relocated.

As for the three cubs, they are too young to survive on their own right now.

"For now we'll keep them in the enclosure that you saw and we'll have them there until about the second week of October until they're fattened up and pretty much ready to go to sleep, take them out to a good spot, good habitat, a state forest or someplace and then release them," said Naniot.

If you have any information on who may have killed the bear, call the DNR Conservation Warden at 1-800-847-9367.



Story By: Dakota Sherek

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