These bear cubs were confiscated last June from a suspected poacher. They ended up at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care where they spent the summer eating and growing, then went into hibernation.
In January, ABC7 News went along as a state fish and wildlife crew placed the cubs in a den in a remote spot called the Sagehen Forest. The team put up motion activated cameras so they could find out what happened when the bears woke up.
Now almost three months later, photos show the cubs are healthy wild bears. They hibernated through February and you can even see them playing when they visited the den last month.
We also introduced you to an injured bald eagle in rehab at the wildlife center since December. Volunteers took video of him on a practice flight as he learned to use his wings again. Then last week they photographed his spectacular release at Carson Pass.
And one more animal you may remember -- "Chips" the bobcat was rescued after a forest fire in Plumas County last August. Chips got intensive medical treatment at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care. Then she was transferred to Sierra Wildlife Rescue to learn to be a wild cat. A photo of her was taken last week, just before she was successfully released with another rescued bobcat in Humboldt County.
All these rescues take thousands of volunteer hours and thousands of dollars.
Links to organizations that helped with the rescue and care of wild animals in the successful releases featured in our story:
#1 Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Phone: (530) 577-2273
#2 Bear League Phone: (530) 525-PAWS (7297)
#3 Sierra Wildlife Rescue Phone: (530) 647-1089
Update: Sierra Wildlife Rescue has corrected their original report to indicate "Chips" the bobcat and her companion were released in the Lassen-Plumas Wilderness Area, not Humboldt County.
Written and produced by Jennifer Olney