Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Wildlife rescuers in Virginia said an orphaned bear cub is being fostered out to another mother in the wild after the baby was found by a dog that gently carried it home.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said a Washington County resident called a rehabilitator to report their dog had arrived home carrying an apparently orphaned bear cub.
Bill Bassinger, a VDGIF district wildlife biologist, retrieved the cub from the home and said the animal was unharmed and the dog appeared to have been very gentle with the wild animal.
The cub was taken to The Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, where officials used radio tracking collars to identify another mother bear in the wild caring for newborn cubs.
The baby bear was placed with the mother this week, and officials said they expect the mother will care for the cub as one of its own.
"The mothering instinct is just very strong in most animals," Bassinger told the Wytheville Enterprise. "Generally, most females will take the young back, even after it has been handled by humans."