Two more black bear cubs arrived at the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter over the weekend.
Shelter manager, Angelika Langen says the cubs were found abandoned and starving next to a road in Cranbrook and were so weak they put up no fight when volunteers picked them up.
“we sent somebody out to check if they were still there because those were reports from the previous day or early in the morning. So they went out and sure enough they were just sitting on the side of the road.”
Langen says conservation officers did find the mother’s body and estimate she had been dead for two or three days, which she says is a long time for bear cubs to go without nursing.
“We are hoping for the best but it is too early to tell. They are very, very wobbly when they walk and they have tremors. There is definitely some damage to their nervous systems but they can overcome that. They are eating and that is a good sign so we just have to watch for the next few weeks.”
She says the long weekend made transporting the hungry cubs more difficult than usual.
Langen says volunteers and shelter workers had to drive the bears from Cranbrook to Smithers after the trucking company which usually transports the animals was unavailable and Air Canada wouldn’t fly the cubs into Smithers without the OK from a staff member who was away.
“I was incredibly disappointed that Air Canada was so unflexible. We called WestJet, we called Pacific Coastal and everybody was willing to help but they didn’t have any flights that would have helped us…and Air Canada had the perfect connection (into Smithers) but was not able to make a decision.”
She says now the cubs who weigh in nearly 10 pounds less than what they should be at are eating and recovering slowly.
“They are making gentle steps forward and we are hoping that they will overcome their hurdles.”
photo: Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter