Rescue Workers Tranq Dart Lost Polar Bear Cub, Stick Her In Zoo

Tobias Schwartz (Reuters)

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Rescue workers tranquilized a polar bear cub and brought her to a zoo after the animal wandered more than 400 miles away by the Arctic shores in Siberia Monday.

Umka, approximately a nine-month-old polar bear cub, was spotted by animal rescuers near the Kolyma River in northeastern Siberia, about 435 miles south of her natural habitat. Rescue workers were forced to tranquillize her and place her in a cage headed for the Yakutsk Zoo Orto Doidu in Russia, reported The Siberian Times.

Workers brought the cub to the zoo since the bear had too much contact with people to survive in the wild, reported Georgia News Day.

“The cub is not afraid of people since the fishermen who found the bear fed her with fish,” Ivan Belonogov, a nature protection chief and supervisor of the rescue, told The Siberian Times. Workers at the local fish factory fed her thinking she was too young to hunt in the wild.

The cub appears to have been orphaned by the mother bear. Some experts believe the mother was poached and potentially poachers brought to the cub to the southern destination. Others workers say the cub ended up there simply due to “wanderlust.”

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