March 2, 2011 (Alpine) - Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) has released new photos of construction at the rescue facility’s new Black Bear Habitat, which will be home to "Liberty," the young black bear cub rescued from the Mt. Baldy area last Fourth of July.
Currently, Liberty remains in the quarantine area, which, at her current weight of 157 pounds, she is quickly outgrowing. However, without further funds, the construction of Liberty's home may come to a standstill, said LTB founder Bobbi Brink. LTB still needs to purchase the fencing, the most expensive part of the enclosure, the roof for the bedroom area, as well as provide power to the area.
The new habitat will be able to accommodate two bears immediately, and up to a total of four or five at final build out. Culverts form a cluster of dens for Liberty, and construction of a bedroom area and waterfall feature are underway.
"The new habitat was designed to give Liberty all the things she would seek out in a natural environment - rocks, water, privacy for sleeping, and a large area in which to roam," says Bobbi Brink, Founder and Director of LTB. "At this stage if we could just get enough funds to finish the roof of the bedrooms, we could move Liberty into that larger area, while we complete the rest of her new home."
Brink is renewing her appeal to the community to help provide a permanent home for Liberty, asking for donations of any kind to help complete this project. If construction were to stay on schedule, Liberty could move into the new habitat as soon as March or April, but without further assistance that is unlikely to happen.
Liberty came to LTB last year, after California Fish & Game was called to remove the bear from a campground in the Mt. Baldy area, where visitors had begun feeding her. This behavior forced Fish &Y Game to remove the yearling bear cub. She was named Liberty by the children of Fish & Game Field Agent Kevin Brennan, who rescued the animal and brought it to LTB on July 4, 2010.
Every year, as yearlings leave their mothers, many wander into campgrounds where their chances of survival are doomed. Visitors who feed these young animals don't realize they're signing a death warrant. Once dependent on humans for food, these bears continue to frequent the campgrounds and become a danger to campers. Fish & Game is called in, but the bears cannot be relocated or rehabilitated, and the only solution is euthanasia. Six to 12 young bears euthanized annually due to human contact in California alone.
Lions, Tigers and Bears hopes to provide safe haven for up to five bears, once the new enclosure is completed.
For more information or to make a donation, please visit the Lions, Tigers & Bears website at www.lionstigersandbears.org or call (619) 659-8078. To view a video of the construction of the habitat, visit http://www.lionstigersandbears.org/home/Ranch/bearhabitat.aspx.