Government
9:56 am
Wed March 27, 2013

New law allows people to cuddle bear cubs in Michigan

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Governor Rick Snyder has signed a bill that will free up the owners of an Upper Peninsula ranch to let visitors pet and take pictures with bear cubs. 

The law allows the handling of bear cubs less than 36 weeks old or weighing no more than 90 pounds, but limits it to already existing facilities. Previously, contact with bear cubs older than 20 weeks was prohibited.

The legislation was introduced specifically to allow cub handling at Oswald's Bear Ranch, near Newberry. The governor's office says the ranch currently has 29 bears.

Snyder says in a statement that the ranch plays "an important role in raising rescued cubs into adulthood" and provides "the public with education about black bears."