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DEEP: Cubs make it to rehabilitation center

DEEP saving orphaned bear cubs in Newtown
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 5:43 PM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 10:33 PM EDT
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NEWTOWN, CT – The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) captured Bobbi the bear’s cubs Monday evening.

They can now be sent to a rehabilitation facility.

Bobbi the bear's cubs
Bobbi the bear's cubs(Credit: Deborah Galle)

This comes days after Bobbi was shot and killed.

Ridgefield police confirm an off-duty officer is involved in the shooting death of Bobbi the bear.

As news of her death spread, many wanted to help her cubs.

DEEP is hoping to have the cubs in captivity soon after locating the bears near a neighborhood in Newtown.

While initially they were just going to monitor and let the cubs fend for themselves, it has now become a mission to rehab them.

According to a statement, DEEP changed their tune due to the risk of continued public interaction.

DEEP said they were keeping a close eye on the cubs, waiting for the right moment to catch them.

“Sometimes it’s just better to wait for them to decide it’s time to come down, at least a little lower, or ideally come down out of the tree entirely to make things a little safer. Those are the things we look at, if that option isn’t a viable one, then we have to explore other things like trying to catch them in a trap, for example,” said Jenny Dickson, DEEP Director of Wildlife Division.

While DEEP is now saying the cubs should be rehabilitated, several animal advocates have said that should’ve been the solution from the beginning.

“If it was a natural death, I wouldn’t be interfering. This was not a natural occurrence,” said Deborah Galle, a member of the Board of Directors for the CT Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

Annie Hornish and Deborah Galle have been out in Newtown tracking them the last few days.

They hoped to catch them and, with DEEP’s blessing, send them to a rehabilitation facility.

“These bears are too young to be able to survive without their mother. They’re only about 20 to 25 pounds, they’re not going to survive. They’ve been too long without her care,” said Annie Hornish, CT State Director of the Humane Society of the United States.

“If the opportunity presents itself as they start to come lower in the tree, to tranquilize them, that’s still the preferred option. So we’re gonna have to see what they tell us is the next best step and be willing to pivot and adapt as we need to,” said Jenny Dickson, DEEP Director of Wildlife Division.

Dickson says they haven’t decided on a facility to send them to.

The Connecticut Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (CWRA) has at least two ideas.

“There’s an excellent center in new jersey, the woodlands wildlife refuge, and another excellent bear rehabilitation center in New Hampshire, Ben Kilham’s Center, and we hope they end up at one of those places,” said Laura Simon, President of the CT Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

According to the CWRA, there’s also a rehab facility in Weston that could take the cubs.

DEEP announced on Tuesday that the cubs are at

The investigation into Bobbi’s death is ongoing.

DEEP says they’re working with multiple state agencies and will release a full report when they can.

DEEP officials say the cubs are at the Kilham Bear Center. The Kilham Bear Center is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility, according to DEEP.

Officials released a photo of the cubs on Tuesday.

Cub at Rehabilitation Facility
Cub at Rehabilitation Facility(WFSB)
DEEP working to rehabilitate bear cubs in Newtown