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Abnormally Small Year-Old Bear Cub In Arizona Has Wildlife Officials “Stumped.”

An abandoned bear cub has been adopted.

An animal refuge in Arizona has received an unusual stocking stuffer this holiday season: a rescued bear cub who is way, way smaller than he should be. In fact, according to a Facebook post from Bearizona Wildlife Park, officials from the Arizona Game and Fish Department are “stumped” by the little guy! Not only is he tiny for his age, but he also seems to be very comfortable around humans. In fact, his rescuers found him wandering a neighborhood in Tuscon. Experts have a lot of questions!

“The bear weighs 15 pounds, a 15-pound bear should be about four or five months old,” said Mark Hart from Arizona Game and Fish. “The math doesn’t work.”

A small bear cub gets used to his new home at Bearizona Wildlife Park.

He continued, “If it got separated from its mother, regardless of why in the backcountry, how did a bear that small get all of the way off the mountain? We would have thought that a bear that size would have been picked off by a predator. A coyote, a mountain lion, or even another bear.”

It looks like humans may have been feeding the small bear cub.

Dave O’Connell, CEO of Bearizona Wildlife Park, is also curious about the small bear cub. He believes human interference might have played a key part in the tiny animal’s backstory.

An abandoned bear cub has been adopted.

“Bear cubs in the United States are all born close to January or February, so this little fella should be around 70 pounds this time of year,” he said, adding, “We will never know the whole story, but if someone illegally fed this cub for months, it could explain his comfort around humans. It might also explain why he is so small.”

Although feeding a small bear cub might not sound that bad, it could have spelled disaster for the lost animal. When bears become too comfortable around humans, they often end up being euthanized to prevent them from becoming a threat. Thankfully, Bearizona Wildlife Park has adopted the little cutie instead! They named him Buddy, after the main character from the holiday film, Elf.

A rescued bear cub sniffing a Christmas tree.

We’re hoping Buddy makes lots of friends in his new home, just like these rescues did!

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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