Rehabbed bear makes two surprise deliveries

WILMINGTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A bear rescued from a shed in the Adirondacks surprised everyone for more than just its survival.

Starving and on the brink of death, a little bear is rescued from a shed in the Adirondacks.

The story takes place two hours up the Northway and then northwest to Wilmington at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center. Among the rescued animals, which include wolves, is one animal that surprised just about everyone.

“I had been getting calls for a month about this particular bear: ‘This bear’s not going to make it unless you rehab this bear,’” Wendy Hall said.

Hall is a wildlife rehabber. She said those calls lead her to a residence outside the town of Schroon where she found the tiny creature hiding inside a shed.

“I personally felt that it was close to death,” she said.

Wendy and her husband took a video of the bear after its rescue in September. It was sick and emaciated, but it had survived.

It seemed as though a bear in such dire straits needed a bold, sturdy name.

“We were searching for a name, and we thought Barnaby was perfect,” Hall said.

The wild black bear was given plenty of space in an enclosure at the center as it recovered and ate food containing medicine to help it recover from parasites.

The little “guy’s” speedy recovery surprised everyone, but little did they know that the bear named Barnaby was on the verge of delivering two more surprises!

“I was doing a routine check in February just to see how things were going,” Chris Mattern said.

Mattern, Paul Smith’s College grad and resident bear expert, says the day he went to observe Barnaby in his enclosure he heard something unusual.

“I heard what sounded like a baby crying, maybe a fisher cat,” he said.

“We first thought, ‘Nah, you heard a Fisher,’” Hall said.

During the next day’s visit, Mattern said he heard it again.

“We figured out that there were cubs in there,” he said.

A field camera slipped into Barnaby’s enclosure confirmed that Barnaby had delivered two cubs.

“It just blew our minds,” Hall said.

The story went crazy online, but there were some who posted a few comments that questioned how experienced rehabbers didn’t realize Barnaby was a female.

They say their focus was on the bear’s health and that they also had to limit their interaction with a bear when their ultimate goal was to reintroduce it into the wild.

Hall and Mattern believe it was a combination of their care and something called delayed implantation that helped save not only momma bear but also her cubs.

After her cubs were born, Hall says they changed the spelling of Barnaby with a “y” to two “ee’s” to give it a more feminine flair.

The rehabbers expect to release Barnabee and her cubs into the Adirondacks later this spring.

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