Three orphaned bear cubs released in wild |

Three orphaned bear cubs released in wild

RENO (AP) – Three bear cubs orphaned by their mother’s life of crime have been given a new lease on life in the Nevada outback.

Biologists and volunteers used snowmobiles and sleds Wednesday to haul the 200-pound, 1-year old bears to artificial dens in the Carson Range along the eastern Sierra southwest of Reno.

After the snow melts, experts hope the bears will emerge as natural backcountry wanderers, not the trash-raiding troublemakers they were learning to be when wildlife officials were forced to kill their mother last summer.

Mother bear had a long history of trouble, beginning to break into homes in the Stateline and Kingsbury Grade areas about 2006, said Carl Lackey, a biologist and bear expert with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Hauled 7 miles into the snowy mountains, the tranquilized bears were placed in buried dog kennels packed with a little straw and surrounded with piles of snow.