orphaned bear cub

An orphaned bear cub was protected by volunteers with the Northern Lights Wildlife Society this week after its mom was shot by a hunter, reports CBC News.

The hunter was stalking a grown-up mountain bear close to the network of Bralorne B.C., west of Lillooet however didn’t understand the sow was all the while nursing an offspring, as per B.C. Protection Officer Bob Butcher.

“A sow in the accompaniment of a cub — you’re not supposed to shoot,” he said.

Under the Wildlife Act it’s an offense to murder a black bear under two years old or a wild bear in the company of one.

It was simply after he shot the bear and moved toward his murder that the hunter heard a stirring in the shrubberies and found the cub, Butcher said.

The hunter reached the B.C. Protection Service and met Butcher at the site.

“In this case — and it happens — for him to take responsibility and call himself in like that, we appreciate that and we encourage people to do that.”

The protection administration is investigating, yet Butcher said the hunter made the best decision in reporting the offense and will probably not face fines or charges.

The Northern Lights Wildlife Society implants microchips and ear tags into each bear cub that comes into its sanctuary and then introduces the cub to other young bears so they can develop social bonds. (Northern Lights Wildlife Society)

Butcher called the Northern Lights Wildlife Society after he was not able catch the stranded cub.

Volunteers with the wildlife rescue organization set up a live trap close to the sow’s body so as to catch the young cub as indicated by Angelika Langen, fellow benefactor and administrator of the society.

The cub was very subtle, she stated, and it took over seven days to get it.

“It was not a cub that was easily captured,” Langen said. “He gave us — or she, as we don’t know the gender yet — a run for the money, that’s for sure.”

On Wednesday, Langen drove the cub to the society’s wildlife rescue sanctuary in Smithers.

She said the youthful bear, which is around four to five months old, is healthy and will join 13 other bear cubs the sanctuary is currently caring for.

“The cub will go into hibernation in the fall and sleep throughout the winter,” she said.
“When he comes out in the spring, he will have a couple more months with us before we are releasing him in June.”