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Bear release season begins at Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter

The Milk and Miles (M&M) fundraiser for the Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS) is returning on Thursday. 

The fundraiser helps to cover the cost of transporting bears for release and for purchasing milk formula for new animals. 

Shelter co-founder Angelika Langen said every animal requires a different formula. 

“For example, moose milk is very low in lactose, while bear milk is high in fat. We get the formula from the USA so with freight costs we spend around $6000 each year to be ready for the various species.” 

She added the shelter needs to have various formulas on hand as they never know what animal may arrive at the shelter. 

Bears currently in care will need to be transported across the province according to Langen, including trips to the Kootenay, Okanagan, Cariboo, and Prince George regions. 

“Most trips have around 3 bears to be released, some more some less. In the case of the grizzlies, we are also looking at costs for helicopters as we release far away from humans to give them the best chance.” 

The cost of trips not only includes gas, but also vehicle maintenance and lodging for the drivers. 

She added the shelter is releasing 32 black bears and two grizzlies this year. 

The goal for this year’s M&M event is to raise $21,000. 

The fundraiser runs for the entire month of June, with their annual open house running July 1st. 

More information on how to donate and what the shelter does can be found on their Facebook page.

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