A woman in a semi-rural Maryland neighborhood was injured by a black bear sow a day or two ago. See The Washington Post. She heard a dog barking, went out with her dog on a leash to investigate and was attacked in her driveway. She had her cell phone with her, and called for help. She needed many stiches and, according to WUSA*9, may have a fractured hip and will remain in hospital for several days.
According to the WP (link above):
Authorities said they think the woman inadvertently came between the sow and her three cubs.
The bear, collared, and well known in the neighborhood because of a characteristic limp, was tracked and killed.
Wildlife specialists had found one of the sow’s three cubs the night of the attack, subdued it with a dart gun and held it until daybreak before it was released. The other two cubs, all likely about 10 months old, also were spotted and determined to be in good health — and able to live on their own.
The question: At what age do black bear cubs have a good chance of surviving on their own?
I hope the answers will consider variables that affect the answer including, but not necessarily limited to: (1) climate and (2) the effect of denning on their own the first winter after being weaned. As for (1), I would expect these Maryland cubs to have a better chance than cubs of the same age in a climate with a colder, longer winter. I'd also expect -- but do not know -- that there would be a great advantage to denning with their mother rather than on their own.