The Kilham Bear Center has been rehabilitating and releasing injured, orphaned and abandoned black bear cubs back into the wild since 1993.
the forested enclosure gives cubs the opportunity to learn bear skills
The Kilham Bear Center has been rehabilitating and releasing injured, orphaned and abandoned black bear cubs brought to them by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department since 1993. The Center receives cubs from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
Ben Kilham and his nephew Ethan Kilham are the primary bear caregivers. Ben’s wife Debbie helps with the very young cubs. Phoebe Kilham was working with the bears, but is now doing the GPS mapping for the collared bear research program with the State of New Hampshire.
Cubs brought in early spring of one year will be released by New Hampshire Fish and Game the following spring. They begin their stay in an indoor enclosure and graduate to one of the outside forested enclosures. Being in the forested enclosure provides the cubs with the opportunity to learn and to improve their climbing and foraging skills as they would in their natural environment.
There are natural and man-made dens in the forested enclosure for the cubs to use to hibernate for the winter. When spring arrives and they emerge from hibernation, carers again supplement their natural foods so that when the time comes for them to leave, they will be healthy and strong and ready to return to the wild.
Kilham Bear Center is not open to the public as all of the cubs will be returned to the wild and minimising human contact is required, however, for tons of photos and video footage of bear cubs being cute, check out their Instagram and website. See below for examples.
HELP SUPPORT KILHAM BEAR CENTER.
Why does Kilham Bear Center need your support? Black bear cubs like to eat. Your donation will help us buy Zoologic formula, lambs milk replacer, Gerber baby cereal and applesauce for the very young cubs. As they grow, the cubs eat kibble ‘n bits, corn and apples. Depending upon the season and when available, natural foods, such as wild lettuces, and other leafy greens, along with acorns and beechnuts, supplement this food. Black bear cubs need veterinary care.<br /> While Tom Heitzman, D.V.M. and his crew at Lyme Veterinary Hospital very generously provide advice and hands on care, there are times when medicine and other medical supplies are necessary. Your donation can help us provide this extra care when it is needed. Baby black bear cubs need protection from the cold. Our indoor enclosure is not heated. Your donation will help us renovate our indoor enclosure to add a heated room for these small young cubs. In the spring of 2021, the Center released 40 yearling bears back to the wild. In the spring of 2022, the Center has 18 yearlings for release. We currently have 3 new orphan cubs of the year in and we expect we will receive more.