The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Monumental efforts saves the lives of two orphaned bear cubs in B.C.

  • Print

CRANBROOK, B.C. - A pair of tiny orphaned bear cubs is alive and in a northwest B.C. rehabilitation centre thanks to the collective efforts of some hikers, dirt bikers, nature photographers and wildlife experts.

The cubs were spotted Sunday, apparently abandoned by their mother, on a rural road outside the southeast B.C. community of Cranbrook by local resident Stephanie McGregor, her husband and some of their friends who had been out hiking.

The cubs are now safe and recovering at the Northern Lights Wildlife Society shelter in Smithers, after a 1,250-kilometre road trip that took them from Cranbrook to Jasper, Alta., and then back into B.C. to the shelter for bears.

McGregor said she is astounded by the effort that went into saving the cubs.

"We couldn't believe how everyone came together for these bears," she said. "It's so amazing."

When they first saw the cubs, they wanted to stay away, but the animals were so small and nobody could see their mother, she said.

So the hikers sat in their vehicles and waited, only to be approached by a group of dirt bikers, some of whom said they'd seen the cubs the day before and asked if the animals were still there.

McGregor said she called the Conservation Officer Service but got a hotline, so she called her friend Colleen Bailey, an experienced animal rescuer.

Bailey immediately contacted the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers, on the opposite side of B.C.

The shelter did have room but wanted to make sure the bears were orphaned.

Then some tourists from Ohio, who'd come to take photos of hummingbirds, arrived on the scene and set up their tripods, said McGregor.

"There was just no way that momma was around with these people hanging around," she said. "We called back to the shelter and she gave us word to capture them."

McGregor said the shelter contacted the Conservation Officer Service and all the proper authorities and they confirmed the mother had died.

Bailey donned some heavy gloves and protected her arms with a heavy jacket.

"I walked up and they were weak enough that I could approach them and grab them," said Bailey.

She said the first cub tried to climb a tree, but was weak and fell back. Bailey said she caught it and put it in a portable kennel.

The second cub got farther up a tree, but Bailey said she grabbed it by its bottom.

The group drove back to Bailey's house, where they weighed and fed the bears.

A veterinarian arrived, gave the cubs vitamin shots and assessed their health. The bears were found to be dehydrated, starving, but in good enough shape to travel.

A flight couldn't be arranged so McGregor and Bailey drove the bears to Golden, B.C., on Monday. There they met Wendy Chambers, a Northern Lights volunteer, who drove the bears to Jasper.

Chambers was met in Jasper by members of the Northern Lights Wildlife Society who drove them almost 750 kilometres west to Smithers.

McGregor said the bears will be rehabilitated and then hopefully released back into the wild.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - The Floodway Connection

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you miss Grandma Elm?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google