NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The Buttonwood Park Zoo family has grown by two.
The New Bedford zoo recently welcomed two orphaned black bear cubs from Alaska. The zoo has been without black bears since 23-year-old Toby died last September.
“Providing a home to orphaned, non-releasable wildlife is paramount to our mission,” Buttonwood Park Zoo Director Gary Lunsford said. “Given that the zoo has been caring for black bears since our inception in 1894, we jumped at the opportunity to provide a forever home to these cubs in need.”
The black bear cubs, an 8-month-old male and 7-month-old female, arrived at the zoo last month.
“We are already getting a clear picture of their individual personalities,” Buttonwood Park Zoo veterinarian Emmy Budas said. “He is the sweet and gentle type — gently taking treats from us, while she is showing us her sassy side.”
Budas said both cubs are eating well and appear to be in excellent health. The zoo has since named them Moose and Oona to honor their Alaskan heritage.
Lunsford expects the cubs to be on exhibit toward the end of September.
“We look forward to introducing the new bears to the community,” Lunsford said. “in the meantime, please do your part to keep bears wild. You should never feed or otherwise approach a wild bear. Be respectful of nature so that we can protect it together.”