A bear cubs is pictured as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife team conducts a den visit in Edinburg in February. Credit: Gabor Degre

LYME, N.H. — A sanctuary in New Hampshire says it is caring for a growing number of abandoned bear cubs because of food shortages last fall and winter.

NECN reports that the Kilham Bear Center is counting on donations to expand and care for the record number of bears. The center normally gets 10 cubs a year but has gotten 70 since the fall.

Ben Kilham says a shortage of nuts, acorns and apples last fall had mother bears leaving their cubs to search for food, and many of them got struck by cars and killed.

The spike in orphaned cubs comes a year after a sharp increase in bear-human conflicts and the highest numbers of bear killings since 2014. That increase also was attributed to a shortage of food sources for the animals.