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Babies, bears & back to nature: Southwest Wildlife Conservation celebrates release into the wild

Photo Bear at Southwest Wildlife Conservation
A remarkable collection of submitted photographs of bears living at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale prior to being released back into the wild through colloboration with the Arizona Game & Fish Department. (File Photos/

Partnership enables 3 orphaned bears to rejoin the Arizona wild

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The result of a continued collaboration between Scottsdale-based Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, and the Arizona Game & Fish Department, three of five baby bears have been rehabilitated and released into the wild.

Two of the bears were found and retrieved after their mother was fatally injured in a vehicular accident, they were taken in early last year, according to a press release.

The third was found by Arizona Game & Fish and taken to Southwest Wildlife after the search for the mother was unsuccessful, officials there report.

After receiving months of care, the three male black bears showed proficient forging skills, natural behavior, and were ready to be released. They were given a final health assessment and identification ear tags. Southwest Wildlife and Arizona Game & Fish made sure that the bears were taken to a suitable habitat where they can continue to live a fulfilled life in the wild.

“The task of rehabilitating five baby bears was not easy, but we are so grateful for all the volunteers and donations that allowed us to raise these bears and prepare them for the wild. It is so rewarding to see their successful release knowing that Southwest Wildlife was able to impact these juvenile bears,” said Kim Carr, Southwest animal care manager in a prepared statement.

“The black bear population is managed by the Arizona Game & Fish Department, as they are a large mammal. We are so proud of this interdepartmental effort to save, raise and release them.”

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Conservation center officials report the remaining two younger cubs are still in rehab at Southwest Wildlife and are being prepared to be released back into the wild soon with new tracking technology that collects data on the bears’ lives and habitat.

The rehabilitation of five young bears is not an easy task. With each bear eating $30 of food a day and receiving medical attention. Southwest Wildlife depended on donations, volunteers, and the community to prepare these bears for the wild.


Southwest Wildlife, accredited by the American Sanctuary Association , rescues and rehabilitates wildlife that has been injured, displaced and orphaned. Once rehabilitated, they are returned to the wild. Sanctuary is provided to animals that cannot be released back to the wild.

Linda Searles officially founded Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in 1994. Since then, SWCC has rehabilitated thousands of sick, injured, orphaned or displaced wild animals.

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