Note: This interview and slideshow with Phoebe Kilham is featured on New Hampshire Public Radio Online.
Phoebe Kilham is the soft-spoken younger sister of Ben Kilham, the renowned black bear behavioralist and bear cub rehabilitator, based in Lyme New Hampshire. But he couldn’t do this work without her, or the support of his wife, Debbie.
Phoebe’s dogged determination, every day, to care for and feed these motherless cubs is the essential act that creates for these sad orphans a safe new world they can explore, and come to trust.
Last spring, the Kilhams were inundated by 20 bear cubs, far more than the usual handful, and it became their job to nurse them back to health, while still keeping them wild enough to be released once they reach the age of 18 months. (This number was then increased to 27 during the harsh winter that followed.)
Well, that’s a lot of mouths to feed, as Phoebe found out. She spoke with ThoughtCast on Ben and Debbie’s deck, within shouting distance of the bear cub enclosure.
Note: all of the photos in this slideshow were taken by Ben or Phoebe Kilham.