11/03/2011 05:06 pm ET Updated Jan 03, 2012

Orphaned Bear Cubs, Cared For At Wildlife Rehab Center, To Return To The Wild Spring 2012 (PHOTOS)

Two bear cubs that were orphaned after their mother was shot by a Colorado Division of Wildlife officer in August are healthy and receiving care at a wildlife sanctuary on Colorado’s Western Slope, according to a press release from the Animal Law Center. The cubs are expected to return to the wild sometime in 2012.

A Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) officer shot and killed a female bear on a ranch owned by Elaine Johnson on Aug. 27, 2011 after the DOW claimed the bear killed a goat on a nearby farm.

The two bear cubs were placed at The Pauline Schneegas Wildlife Foundation, a wildlife rehabilitation and education center in Silt, Colo., where they have been cared for since.

“After their mother was shot, the cubs had a low chance for survival,” Jennifer Edwards, founder and lawyer with The Animal Law Center said in press release. “We are very happy that the cubs are receiving outstanding care and look forward to their early Spring release into the wild where they belong.”