Wandering bear cub headed to wildlife rehab center

A tiny bear who wandered into the arms of a Dauphin County business owner Tuesday is now in the hands of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

“Boo Boo” — a 4-month-old male — spent the night at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County after he was found by the owner of “That’s Hair Biz” on Route 22 in West Hanover Township at around 3 p.m.

Clinic veterinarian Dr. Heather Balmer assumed the role of a “temporary mama bear” overnight.

“Sometimes (I get attached to) sad stories,” she said. “He’s a sad story.”

The 10-pound cub’s mother is nowhere to be found. Wildlife Conservation Officer Mike Doherty said the Game Commission is hopeful she is still alive, but said it’s very rare for cubs to stray so far.

Meantime, Boo Boo is being transported to a wildlife rehabilitation center in Monroe County.

“They are going to try to keep him in as wild a state as possible, so he doesn’t learn to depend on human beings for food,” Doherty said. “If we can’t find the mother, he will be kept there for a while until he is able to live on his own in the wild and be released.”

“I’ll be glad when he goes where he needs to go because you can only do so much and this isn’t exactly ideal,” Balmer said. “We don’t really have the right stuff to take care of him.”

The Game Commission is also actively looking for Boo Boo’s two siblings. Doherty said if you spot a bear cub, do not approach it because the mother is likely nearby, the animal could carry disease and humans who feed animals the wrong food can end up killing them.

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