A tiny bear cub, affectionately called “Ragamuffin,” is recovering after she was spotted by a couple near Port Alice.
Her bare bottom and tiny piggy-like tail made the young couple do a double take when they came upon the orphaned bear cub while out for a drive earlier this month.
“It was definitely crazy,” said Port McNeill resident Shae Greenhorn.
“Most people didn’t believe us at first that we actually rescued a baby bear.”
Dustin Carmen and Greenhorn said they were out in the wilderness of Port Alice when the cub ran past them.
“Little baby and no mom around,” said Greenhorn.
Since they are parents themselves, they felt for her and jumped out to help, risking scratches and bites to rescue her.
“And chased her for probably half hour to 45 minutes,” said Greenhorn.
“Before he [Dustin] caught her and then he had brought her back to the truck and I was trying to wrap her in a blankie and a towel and she scratched me and bit me,” said Greenhorn.
Once they caught her, they rushed her to help.
“She was suffering from mange,” said Tawny Molland of the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre.
“She had an ear infection, she was starving.”
The months-old cub is now in the care of the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre putting on weight and getting healthier.
After a likely long time by herself in the forest, she also finally has companions, who have a sad story of their own. Two cubs were orphaned when their mother was euthanized for killing a dog near Sayward. They were just brought in Thursday. They are still scared, and unsure in the company of “Ragamuffin.”
“It’s going to take a little bit for them to get to know each other,” said Molland.
“It’s very heartbreaking when we have to have these cubs come in under these circumstances,” she said.
Rescuers are urging people to only put their garbage out the day of collection and remove fallen fruit from under trees to prevent bears from being euthanized.