Rescued Grizzly Cubs Make Their Debut at the Detroit Zoo

Photo by Mark M.

Call them the Good News Bears.

What started out as a sad story for three grizzly cubs has turned out to have a happy ending at the Detroit Zoo. Three male grizzly cubs in Alaska were orphaned in October 2011 when a poacher shot and killed their mother. The ursine trio — Mike, Thor, and Boo — were rescued when the Alaska Department of Fish and Game contacted the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) after concluding that the cubs wouldn’t be able to survive the winter alone.

So the DZS stepped in and rescued them. After spending the winter hibernating, the bear brothers made their debut March 22 at the Detroit Zoo, where they can romp in an 8,400-square-foot habitat and take a dip in a 6-foot-deep pool. They’ll need the space, too; the three have almost doubled in size to about 4-1/2-feet-tall and tip the scales at between 215 and 255 pounds. Like the three bears of Goldilocks fame, they’ll need to consume a lot of porridge. Adult male grizzlies can grow as tall as 8 feet and weigh 800 pounds.

The nonprofit DZS has rescued more than 300 animals that now call the Detroit Zoo home, including two other grizzlies and a polar bear saved from a Puerto Rican circus.


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