A sure sign of the coming spring is that orphaned bear cubs at PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood are awakening from their long winter nap.
The wildlife rehabilitation staff at PAWS creates a darkened bear run for the cubs so they can go into hibernation.
But PAWS Naturalist Kevin Mack says it’s not as easy as it sounds.
“Imagine trying to get a room full of kindergartners down for nap time, there’s always one or two kids that just won’t go to sleep,” he said. “That pretty much describes it.”
This year the center is caring for seven cubs rescued from several locations across the Northwest. One of them arrived at the shelter last summer with a collapsed lung. PAWS veterinarian staff had to perform their first-ever pneumothorax surgery to repair the injury.
During their time at PAWS, the cubs get a chance to grow large enough to survive on their own in the wild while learning social skills from the other cubs.
PAWS says if all goes well - and it usually does - the bears will be returned to the wild this spring and summer.