Polar Bear Cub Rescued At Alaska Oil Field (Video)

Officials from the Alaska Zoo and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rescued an orphaned polar bear cub at an Alaska oil field.  The zoo will take temporary custody of the female cub, but ultimately she will have to go to another zoo.

The 17-pound cub that is thought to be at least 4 months-old, was herded into a net and then placed in a large dog kennel.  The underweight cub was fed a commercial puppy milk replacement with whip cream to meet her nutritional needs.

“It was initially shaking from the stress, but it settled down and has been resting quietly,” Rosa Meehan, the Fish and Wildlife Service marine mammals manager said in an Associated Press interview.

The cub will stay at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, but they are looking for another zoo to step forward and give the bear a permanent home.  The Alaska Zoo already has two polar bears and four other bears and their facility will not accommodate another bear.

The polar bear cub was first seen seven weeks ago along with her mother and a sibling when they came out of their winter den. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey captured the trio and put a radio collar on the mother.

“Unfortunately, the collar slipped off a few days later,” said Meehan.

Workers at the Alpine oil field spotted the cub on Tuesday, but she was all alone.  They contacted Fish and Wildlife Service who then conducted an “aerial search” for the mother, but were unable to find her.

On Thursday, the cub showed up for a second time and officials coordinated a plan to rescue her. 

The agency already had a rescue plan in place for any oil spills that may affect polar bears, so they only had to make a few modifications for the cub.

Officials do not know what happened to the mother or the sibling. And they don’t know how long the underweight cub had been without food. 

They checked with the nearest Inupiat Eskimo village and were told that no locals had killed a polar bear recently.

“Only Alaska Natives are allowed to hunt polar bears, and they are required to report their subsistence harvest to the Fish and Wildlife Service,” reported AP.

The agency thinks is it much more likely that the mother bear was in poor health and couldn’t take care of the cubs, or that the family became separated in a storm, or the mother was killed trying to protect her cubs from an adult male bear.

“We were just pleased to be able to rescue this polar bear cub and put it in the hands of U.S. Fish and Wildlife,” said Natalie Lowman, a representative from ConocoPhillips which owns the Alpine oil field. 

Check out the video:


Creative Commons - Tabeatny


Beth H.
beth Hall6 years ago

Thank God for the people who care. Sweet cub!

jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago


Aleksandra W.
ola W6 years ago

glad he was rescued.

Kayla Kuczynski
Kayla Wolfaardt6 years ago

Oh, lucky bear. Now it can spend the rest of its life in captivity in a polluted city, being stared at by thousands of people :(

Ally T.
A P6 years ago

I'm glad the cub was rescued, but it's sad that the whereabouts of the mother and the sibling are still unknown.

Shelly Smith
Shelly Smith6 years ago

If no one killed a bear recently my money is on global warming & the disappearing sea ice, not long ago, a polar bear mom swam NINETEEN DAYS looking for sea ice to hunt on, her baby couldn't keep up, he died in the frigid water. Way 2 go humans, we're about 2 kill off yet another species...when will we be next?? Hopefully soon so the creature that deserve 2 be here can have their home back w/o our oppression.

Kathleen D.
Kathleen D6 years ago

It will take congress getting involved and making sure there is a stop to the killing of polar bears. Unfortunately, states have to much leverage when it comes to fighting Washington on such legislation. Human absolutely have to band together like never before and fight for the protection of wetlands and jungles, forestlands and the very air we breathe. We got to fight to stop overbuilding and encroaching on wildlife habitat. These animals are dependent on us. We must be their voice. Our magnificent wildlife is in greater peril than ever and it's up to us to ensure they do not become extinct. Contact your state representatives and put pressure on pathetic Salazar, Secretary of the Interior. He's done little to ensure our wildlife is protected since his roots are of many generations of Colarado ranchers. He aligns his interests with those who would slaughter wolves and any other wildlife that is deemed as 'ENCROACHING' on ranchers' lands which, very often, is leased public land owned by the taxpayers.

Rani K.
Rani K.6 years ago

"Be the change you want to see in the world" so said
Mahathma Gandhi. There is nothing we cannot do if we get together and stop what is not right. It is a defeatist attitude to say we cannot change the system; we can! Although hunting had an excuse when we were in the cave age, it is not a valid excuse anymore. If we do not want animals to become extinct, we have to stop them from being killed for various reasons. These reasons all add up to plain human greed. Camels have been taken to a certain country and there they have been over-breeding! So one answer is to kill them and eat them and export them as meat to other countries too. It is called "Turn pest into Profit!" A poor animal who was minding it's own business in Afghanistan was taken to an unfamiliar country and due to over breeding, now they must get rid of them! That is what I mean by playing God! In Sri Lanka there have been around 30,000 elephants but when the British invaded us and ruled us, they have been hunting elephants for fun and for meat! Not only that they have exported them for meat too!! Now the elephant population has dwindled down to about 3 to 4 thousand and I am one of the few who are fighting to keep them safe. About 2 years back we managed to stop an elephant being exported to a zoo in a newly formed country in breakaway Russia. I am a very active fighter regarding the safety of our elephants but, farmers invade their terriroty for farming and kill them when their crops are ruin

rene davis
irene davis6 years ago

thank you.

Manuela B.
Manuela B6 years ago

pitty they couldn't find her mother, but i am glad she was rescued and not left to die. As to wether it is a good thing that she ends up in a zoo or not is a big debate. Do you let the species become extinct or not??? too hard this time of the morning.....