CONCORD, New Hampshire — A female bear who journeyed thousands of miles to return home after being saved and relocated by Gov. Chris Sununu is preparing to emerge from her den with three new cubs.
Sununu joined Fish and Game officials Wednesday to check on “Mink,” who was set to be euthanized along with three of her offspring in 2017 after repeated problems with them feeding from trash and bird feeders culminated with two bears entering a home in Hanover. Sununu instead ordered them to be moved to far northern New Hampshire, but by last spring, Mink had found her way back to her preferred home near Dartmouth College.
The bear currently is hibernating in a den in the same area. Sununu said her three male cubs weigh just over 6 pounds each and are all in good health.
“When winter comes to a close and bears across the state begin to wake up from hibernation, it is important for people to remember that taking simple steps like securing your trash can go a long way to protect both us and our furry friends,” he said.
Mink’s three yearlings were moved soon after the public outcry over the euthanasia plan in 2017, but one was killed within weeks by a hunter in Quebec. Mink wasn’t captured then because she left town to mate and later returned with four cubs in 2018. She was fitted with a tracking collar in June of that year and moved about 120 miles north, but returned to Hanover last May after traveling thousands of miles in a looping route through New Hampshire and Vermont.
Officials favoring euthanasia had argued the animals were no longer afraid of humans and likely would find new neighborhoods to frequent if moved, or would eventually find their way back to Hanover.
Related: Maine wildlife biologists check on black bear and her cubs