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‘Puppies’ left in cardboard box on man’s lawn turn out to be bear cubs

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A man returned to his Camden County home last week to find what he thought was a cardboard box with puppies inside left in his front yard.

Instead, it was two tiny black bear cubs, so young their eyes were still closed, said Camden County Sheriff Kevin Jones.

The sheriff reported the cubs to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The agency transported the bears to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, Jones said.

Northeastern North Carolina has one of the densest black bear populations in the nation. Bears are often seen munching in farm fields in Camden County not far from the North River Road home where the cubs were found.

Bears breed in July and give birth while hibernating in dens during the winter, said state wildlife biologist Chris Turner. Mother and cubs typically remain together in the den until the babies are mobile usually about March or April, Turner said.

It is not known what happened to the mother, Jones said.

A spokesperson at the zoo could not be immediately reached.

Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272, jeff.hampton@pilotonline.com

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