Conservation officer Logan Proulx is seen with one of three orphaned bear cubs caught near New Denver. The cubs are now at the Northern Lights Wildlife Society

Orphaned bears safe and sound

Three bear cubs are safe and sound in a wildlife sanctuary after their mother was hit by a car in New Denver.

Three black bear cubs are safe and sound after their mother was killed by a car near New Denver two weeks ago.

Several members of the New Denver community called the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line to notify conservation officers of the animals and their situation.

Three officers were dispatched to the area, and the cubs were found near the Kaslo-New Denver highway. They were then tranquilized and placed into a safe container.

“The cubs were put into a live bear trap, and were housed overnight in Castlegar,” said West Kootenay conservation officer Cynthia Mann. “I had made arrangements with Northern Lights, out of Smithers, for them to come and get the cubs.”

The Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS) is a shelter in Smithers used to house and rehabilitate all forms of wildlife. They service almost all of British Columbia, with the exception of the lower mainland.

Currently there are 34 bear cubs at the shelter, and more are expected to arrive as fall and winter roll in. It is expected the society will exceed previously reached numbers.

“We’ve received groups of two or three cubs at one time instead of one cub,” said Angelika Langen, co-founder and manager of the NLWS. “We’re also better known, conservation officers work well with us, and the public lets us know when something is happening, so that all comes together.”

Right now, the cubs are in a large enclosure, and are being fed enough to ensure they reach the proper weight for when they go into hibernation, which will happen in November. Once they go into hibernation, they’ll sleep until the end of March or beginning of April, and will continue to be fed by the NLWS until they are released some time in June.

“That’s the time they would naturally leave their mothers, and they’re really primed to go and find their own territory,” said Langen. “They’re also kind of protected from the boars, because the boars are busy mating with the females in those months, and don’t pay much attention to young bears running around.”

It is anticipated the bears will integrate back into the wild after their release.

 

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