TRUCKEE (CBS / AP) — An orphaned bear cub found last spring in a tree near Lake Tahoe has been released back to the wilderness.

The female cub was spotted in a tree last May near Carnelian Bay on Tahoe’s north shore. When its mother didn’t return, California Fish and Game biologists took the 16-pound, 4-month-old cub to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.

Earlier this week, biologists took the cub, now weighing 68 pounds, to a man-made den in the Tahoe National Forest north of Truckee.

The shelter is a collection of sticks balanced together in wigwam fashion. Inside there is a bed of evergreen branches.

Biologists say when the bear emerges in the spring, it should be able to fend for itself.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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