Giving New Jersey's Wildlife a Second Chance


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In Memory of Mike

On behalf of the staff at Woodlands Wildlife Refuge:

"Thank you Mike, for the opportunity to learn more about the amazing black bear and that incredibly tenacious wild spirit and will to survive. Once again I am awed to the bottom of my soul. You arrived with Ike as a tiny, helpless cub after surviving so much trauma. You sure didn’t have an easy go of it. In spite of your serious physical limitations these last couple of weeks found you being all bear! All challenging and strong minded. I could see your  bear mind and instincts. I could see the bear your body would never be able to support. I wish I could have seen you and Ike through to a release back into the wild as I have so many others.  But, it was not meant to be. I am honored to have protected the future you from certain  pain and frustration. I am grateful that your wonderful spirit is intact and free to roam wild, unencumbered and reunited with your original family."  - Tracy

"Mike was a blessing in my life. Because of him, and his brother Ike, I had the opportunity to learn much more about the care of infant bears. His ongoing journey only enhanced my skills as a wildlife rehabilitator, which will benefit animals for years to come. Thank you Mike for the opportunity to learn and grow through you. For that gift I will be forever grateful. Be wild. Be free. " - Melissa

"Mike was a difficult case from the start. I remember the early mornings and late nights with him and his brother Ike. Mike was always the fussy eater. There were complications from the beginning, but I always had hope for him. Watching him explore his surroundings and play with new toys as he learned and grew. Even when we first discovered his condition I had hope for him. After the follow up tests, when we found that there was no improvement, my heart sank. This little bear, full of spirit, full of intention, trying to climb, would never be able to fully function as a bear. I saw the wild bear spirit in him and I knew his body would not allow him to live to his fullest potential.

I am thankful for everything Mike brought to Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, the field of bear rehabilitation, black bear education, and me. I still have hope for Mike. I hope that his wild spirit finds the fields and forests to run and the trees to climb. Godspeed Mike, little bear, our teacher." -Heather


If you wish to make a donation but not online, call us at 908-730-8300 ext 8 or make checks payable to Woodlands Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 5046 Clinton, NJ 08809.






Donations made in Mike's memory will benefit the hundreds of wild patients we will care for this year.

Photos by Heather Freeman

Thank you for following Mike's story. He has inspired us to create future wildlife live cams. Stay tuned.


Medical Information

Click here for a statement from Erica Miller, DVM and Dave McRuer MSc, DVM, DACVPM Wildlife Center of Virginia regarding Mike's condition

Click on the X-rays below to view them full size

(Left) Normal black bear cub xray provided by The Wildlife Center of Virginia. (Right) Mike's follow up xray.

Click here for initial blood work lab results- 3/2

Click here for initial Vitamin D blood work lab results - 3/6

Click here for follow up blood work - 4/15 News Coverage

5/11/15 - Final Update: Click Here

4/28/15 Update: Click Here

4/2/15- 3 Month Update: Click Here

Eight Week Update: Click Here

Six Week Update: Click Here

Five Week Update: Click Here

Three Week Update:

Read the full cub cam article here on

Two Week Update: Click Here

Click here to read the original story on!

Additional News Coverage

1/29/15 - CBS New York - Bear Cubs Being Cared For at Refuge

2/3/15 - Lehigh Valley Live- Bear cub orphaned in Allamuchy State Park hunting accident dies

2/4/15 - A Live Cam Is Now Documenting A 4 Week Old Bear Cub - Buzzfeed

2/5/15- Huntsville News, WAAY and ABC 21 News - Live cam of cute orphaned bear cub

2/5/15- Yahoo News! Trending Now - Webcam features adorable black bear cub

2/6/15- Cancel Your Weekend Plans For A Livestream of a Newborn Cub- MASHABLE

Photo Album

Click on the photo below to see an album of Mike's photos. Please note a Facebook account is not required to view.

Photo by Andre Malok for NJ Advance Media


Contents ©2013 Woodlands Wildlife Refuge. All rights reserved.

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For wildlife concerns please call 908-730-8300 x 4. Do not email

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Address: 676 County Road 513 Pittstown, NJ 08867 P: 908-730-8300 F: 908-730-8311 Email:

Tax ID: 22-3053310 Contents ©2020 Woodlands Wildlife Refuge. All rights reserved.