WILLIAMS, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Bearizona is celebrating a special anniversary this weekend.
On Saturday, June 1, the drive-through and walk-through wildlife park in Williams, Arizona is marking the one-year anniversary of the rescue of four orphaned bear cubs.
In 2018, Bearizona adopted the black bear cubs after their mothers were euthanized for being too habituated to humans and entering civilized neighborhoods.
The first two rescues were 5-month-old male cubs from Pinetop-Lakeside. Their story made national news when they were discovered hiding at the top of a 75-foot tree one day after their mother was taken by the Arizona Game and Fish Department from a residential neighborhood.
A local resident had been feeding the bear daily. And since it was the second time the Arizona Game and Fish Department had attempted to relocate this bear from a residential area back into the wilderness, the bear ultimately had to be put down.
Unfortunately, she was euthanized before the department discovered she was a mama bear, and had two helpless 15-pound cubs who weren't able to survive in the wilderness alone.
Later that same month, Bearizona rescued two more five-month-old black bear cubs after their mom was euthanized by White Mountain Apache Tribe Game and Fish. The bear was put down after she entered multiple campgrounds.
Today, the bears, named Bjorn, Ole, Naki and Dala, are doing well and thriving in their new home.
“We are so grateful to be able to provide a safe and loving home for orphaned bears — thanks, in large part, to our no-breeding program,” said Bearizona Owner Sean Casey. “Although the circumstances behind rescues are often unfortunate, we are grateful to be able to provide a safe and loving home for orphaned cubs.”
So on June 1, to mark the rescue of those four cubs, and in conjunction with National Black Bear Day, Bearizona will donate $5 for every car to the Appalachian Bear Rescue.
Located outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Townsend, Tenn., the Appalachian Bear Rescue is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to care for orphaned and injured black bear cubs for the return to their natural habitat.
The organization also focuses on increasing public awareness about coexisting with black bears and research to support all aspects of returning cubs to the wild.
Bearizona is located south of the Grand Canyon in Williams, AZ, near the intersection of Historic Route 66, Interstate 40 and Highway 64.
The park’s mission is to rescue wild animals in need of new homes and promote conservation by fostering memorable and educational encounters with North American wildlife in natural environments.
Bearizona invites guests to take a scenic, three-mile drive through packs and herds of wild animals. Then comes the "walk-through" portion of the park, as guests are invited to visit more animal exhibits on foot.
More information about Bearizona is available online.