Mother bear Jackie and her cub, Russell, are now Texans as the two have been relocated from California for a tranquil life away from human temptation.
In what may become a new state practice, a mother and bear cub are now safe on a Texas ranch after several close calls with Californians.
Jackie, a 6-year-old brown bear, and her 1-year-old cub, Russel, will now call Texas’ Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch home. Within, they’ll have access to a wildlife pool, trees for climbing, and acres upon acres to roam.
The pair’s relocation comes after an eventful year. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), their relocation comes after each became too comfortable around humans. The mother & cub had made their home in a California suburb surrounded by people, and grew accustomed to opportunistic feeding.
As mother bears are wildly protective of their young, the Califronia Dept. of Fish and Wildlife knew this was a recipe for disaster. As a result, the CDFW first relocated the pair “70 miles away from where they were found” in 2019. Every crafty, however, they soon wound back up in their prior suburban stomping grounds.
After two more relocation attempts by the CDFW, the HSUS stepped in. Wishing to prevent the “dire outcome” of euthanizing both bears, HSUS worked alongside Project Wildlife Ramona to relocate the bears to a “permanent sanctuary home”. As a result, all is working out, and the mother & son will live on as Texans.
Mother Bear & Cub Relocation Saves Both Their Lives
Now, Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch‘s two newest residents have moved in, and are doing well.
Furthermore, “Jackie and Russell can now safely live out their days here with no human interference. They are thriving — exploring their one-acre habitat, climbing trees, splashing in their pool, and foraging in the leaves and grass,” says Noelle Almrud.
Almrud is director of the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch. In addition, he says “the duo already has their favorite trees — the huge oaks with plenty of branches for exploring.”
“They can see and hear the other sanctuary resident bears — Sammi and Eve—in their own nearby habitats and their caregivers hear them all making calls to one another,” he adds. “It is an amazing happily ever after.”
Unfortunately, most bears that become habituated to humans suffer a far worser fate. The typical solution nationwide for these bears is euthanization.
“Wild animals are victims of humans encroaching on their world,” Almrud also laments. “Jackie and Russell almost lost their lives because of it. We encourage communities to take simple steps to co-exist with bears.”
If you find yourself in a bear encounter, our Surviving a Black Bear: How to Prevent Encounters and Deter an Attack expose provides expert know-how on how to survive.
Hopefully, however, this is not necessary, and further work by wildlife agencies can keep bear – and human – casualties to a minimum.