A baby bear left orphaned during the Thanksgiving long weekend has been transported to Critter Care in Vancouver, is doing well, and will likely be released back on the Coast in the spring.
The 68-pound male bear was heard “vocalizing” nearby the Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre on Saturday morning Oct. 12.
Clint Davey of the centre said he was unsure why the baby bear was hanging around the area, but because it appeared to be in good health, he left it alone.
“Then somebody came up to our door on Saturday afternoon and said there was a dead bear outside our property in the ditch along the highway,” Davey said.
He went to inspect the animal and said it “was obviously the cub’s mom.”
At that point Davey knew the cub would need to be caught to have any chance at survival.
After contacting Kim Drescher, Sunshine Coast-WildSafeBC community coordinator, and Conservation Officer Murray Smith, it was decided that a trap would have to be set and the mom’s body would need to be used for bait.
“So we got the mom out of the ditch and put her in the trap with some food attractant and we set the trap up in our neighbour’s front yard and sure enough, we got the cub sometime early on Sunday morning,” Davey said.
Smith returned to tranquilize the cub and tag it and then Davey transported the animal in a crate to Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley on the 12:20 p.m. ferry.
“They’ve been doing bear rehab for a few years now and they actually have four other cubs at the moment,” Davey said. “Initially they’ll keep it separate until they assess it and everything and then it will join the other ones.”
He expects the cub to come back to the Coast in the spring for release.
Drescher said no one knows who killed the mother bear, but that her death was obviously the result of a vehicle collision.
She encourages people to stay alert while driving Sunshine Coast roadways although she realizes animals can be quick and unpredictable.
If you do hit and injure an animal on the highway Drescher said calling RCMP is the best course of action as “they can get there fast and can dispatch the animal if it is injured and suffering.”