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Scottsdale animal sanctuary gives Calif. bear a 'Heavenly' welcome home

A California black bear will be welcomed to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Wednesday. (Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center photo)

PHOENIX -- The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center welcomed the newest member of its family Wednesday morning.

The newest addition to the Scottsdale-based animal sanctuary is a young, black bear named Heavenly. In March, the bear was found near the Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Heavenly's mother died when the cub was young, and he was found extremely underweight. Guests of the resort began giving Heavenly food to help nourish him. Eventually, he was transported to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care for proper treatment.

"They actually re-released him and he found his way back to people within a week," said Kim Carr, educational director for Southwest Wildlife.

Since the bear kept begging for food from people, Carr said the resort was left with two options.

"One is euthanasia, and the second one is to find a sanctuary or zoo that could take him," she said.

Carr said that's when the Scottsdale sanctuary offered to raise Heavenly and give him a home for life.

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About the Author


Cooper Rummell is a Southern California native. He moved to Arizona in 2012 to pursue a bachelor's degree in journalism at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Since May 2013, Cooper has worked as a desk anchor and reporter at KTAR. He has a passion for investigative political reporting and covering the local crime beat.

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