Audubon Zoo Welcomes Orphaned Louisiana Black Bear Cub
(New Orleans, La.) - Audubon Zoo is now home to a seven-month-old female Louisiana black bear. The orphaned cub was rescued in Northeast Louisiana by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, after a community member observed the cub in a tree by itself for multiple days.
The cub is currently behind-the-scenes at the Zoo, while upgrades are made to the Zoo’s existing black bear habitat in the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit, but is expected to be introduced to her new home on Saturday, September 10, 2022. The Zoo has been home to black bears for over 20 years, but with the passing of 21-year-old “Camille” in 2021, there have not been black bears at the Zoo.
“We are very excited that we were in a position to offer a home for this cub,” said Audubon Zoo’s Curator of Louisiana Swamp Liz Wilson. “Louisiana black bears play a significant role in our state and we are thrilled to teach our visitors about the importance of this species and what they can do to protect them.”
The Louisiana black bear is the official state mammal of the state of Louisiana, and it is one of 16 subspecies of the American black bear (Ursus americanus americanus) in North America. They can be found primarily in the forested wetlands of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley but have also been seen in almost every parish in Louisiana.
“Louisiana black bears are a success story in conservation. They were once listed as threatened on the Endangered Species list due to hunting and habitat loss, but through public education, population management, and habitat preservation, the numbers of Louisiana black bears have recovered,” said John Hanks of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Audubon’s bear cub currently weighs just 40 pounds, but will weigh between 120 and 200 pounds when fully grown.
Audubon Nature Institute is a family of facilities, events, experiences, sustainability initiatives and conservation programs united in the belief that each of us has the power to impact nature and wildlife for the better. This includes Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. We inspire visitors, members and our community to support nature and wildlife - and leave the world better than we found it.