The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks (MDWFP) along with Mississippi State University wildlife biologists are monitoring two newborn black bear cubs discovered with their mother in a winter den.
MDWFP reported Thursday that they went to a black bear den in Bolivar County on Wednesday in order to replace a radio collar on a female bear and discovered the newborn cubs.
Wildlife biologists have been monitoring several radio-collared black bears in Mississippi as part of an ongoing research project.
The mother bear was tranquilized before biologists went inside to examine the two bear cubs. The bear cubs were weighed, measured and micro-chipped.
The cubs each weighed about 3.5 pounds and were likely born in late January, according to wildlife officials.
Biologists changed out the mother's collar and put the cubs back in the den with her.
Mississippi currently holds an estimated population of over 100 black bears. This is down significantly from thousands that reportedly roamed across the state decades ago.
Land clearing for agriculture and over-hunting are the main reasons for the animals’ decline in the state.