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Watch: Orphaned bear cub rescued after wandering into yard

The cub was rescued in the eastern village of Kuhmo on Thursday evening.

Video: Kuhmossa torstaina pelastettu karhunpentu.
Pieni karhunpentu matkasi torstai-iltana Kuhmosta Kuusamoon uuteen kotiinsa. Nälkäinen pentu sai ravintoa muun muassa pullosta. Video: Petri Väyrynen ja Oulun poliisilaitos

A tiny brown bear cub caused a bit of commotion in the town of Kuhmo this week after wandering into a resident's yard on its own, without its mother.

After following the situation for a while, the home owners called the police who asked the Finnish Wildlife Agency to step in.

Kimmo Piirainen from the Kainuu region town and part of a team that rescued the cub, said the bear weighed no more than three to four kilos, or the equivalent of a couple of bags of flour.

"He was so tired, the poor thing," said Piirainen.

The hungry cub picked up some strength from nibbling on dog food, and took off for the woods on Wednesday night, giving his mother the chance to reclaim her cub.

But by noon on Thursday, the cub had returned to the yard. The home owners immediately called the police.

Orpo karhunpentu odottaa häkissä kuljetusta orpokotiin
Image: Kimmo Piirainen

After determining that the mother was no longer caring for her offspring, the cub was declared an orphan.

On Thursday evening he was transported from Kuhmo to the Large Carnivore Center in Kuusamo. Upon arrival, the cub was named "Pena." A bear weighs about a half a kilo at birth, suggesting that Pena would be about two to three months old.

If separated, a mother usually returns to her cub. In Pena’s case the mother was given ample time and space to retrieve him.

While bears who end up in captivity are sometimes reintroduced to the wild, it is no simple task. For Pena, a return to his natural habitat is unlikely.

"It depends on his ability to learn social bear skills, but for Pena, I would almost certainly rule out that option," Ranua Zoo curator Heini Niinimäki said.

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