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Skinny Bear Cubs To Be Fattened For Hibernation

DEL NORTE, Colo. (CBS4) -- No Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers for this crew.

Three underweight black bear cubs who stood little chance of making it through the winter will live the high life for the next month and a half.

The skinny trio, captured with their mother west of Sedalia on Friday, need to almost double their weight in order to survive a winter hibernation, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

The sow was deemed a safety concern and was euthanized. She had broken into garages and bluff-charged humans, said CPW spokesperson Jason Clay.

Right now, the cubs weigh between 40 and 50 pounds each. The Frisco Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center plans to pack 40 more pounds on their frames by the end of November. At that time, they will be weened off the food to trigger natural hibernation instincts.

Staff at the rehab center will rely on a commercial feed for the bulk of the cubs', uh, bulk.

But whole berry bushes or rose hips -- realistically thorny fare -- will be served alongside fish from a nearby hatchery as well.

The hope is the cubs will automatically "den-up" in December or January when they are released back into the wild.

As if the free meal plan wasn't enough, CPW officials intend to set them up with a ready-made, artificial den in their natural habitat.

The cubs are already being adapted to such sleeping quarters. Two artificial dens, one open and the closed, are seen in the corners of the pen in which the bears were released Friday.

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