Lively orphaned bears keep NH rehabilitator busy

By By HOLLY RAMER

LYME, N.H. (AP) — Someone tell these black bear cubs they should be hibernating.

When a bad year for feeding followed a good one for breeding, Ben Kilham, New Hampshire's only licensed bear rehabilitator, found himself spending the winter with 27 lively, orphaned cubs — a huge jump from the three to five he typically sees.

Kilham keeps the cubs in an 8-acre forested enclosure in Lyme until spring, when he works with the state Fish and Game department to release them. Normally, the bears sleep all winter, but not this bunch. They've stayed awake, but Kilham says that won't do them any harm come spring.

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