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2 Orphaned Bear Cubs Returned To Wild Near Tahoe

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An American black bear. (HBarrison/Wikimedia Commons)

An American black bear. (HBarrison/Wikimedia Commons)

RENO (CBS / AP) — A pair of black bears orphaned as cubs last summer in the foothills near Reno have been returned to the wild atop the Sierra Nevada.

State wildlife officials shot their mother in July because she kept breaking into homes in the Galena area of Mount Rose between Reno and Lake Tahoe.

The two cubs — about five months old and weighing 20 pounds each — were taken to the Animal Ark wildlife sanctuary north of Reno.

Now weighing between 80 and 100 pounds, they were flown by helicopter on Friday to a spot in the Carson Range where biologists buried a couple of artificial dens in the snow.

They hope the bears will hibernate until April or May and avoid the sort of bad behavior that got their mother killed.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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