Orphaned bear cubs arriving at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Orphaned bear cubs arriving at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

WATCH: The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington is seeing an influx of bear cubs this fall. In most cases their mothers have been put down. Dean Stoltz reports.

Five bear cubs have been taken in at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington after their mothers were put down by the Conservation Officer Service.

It will be their new home for the next year because they are too young to survive alone in the wild.

“They will be with us for another year before we can release them,” said Tawny Molland, Animal Care Technician at NIWRA. “Ideally, we want them to be with their mom you know that’s the ideal situation.”

In one case, a cub’s mother had to be put down after it was hit by a vehicle but in the other cases, the cubs are now orphans because their mothers were put down after becoming habituated to garbage and becoming a danger to humans.

“The other issue is the fruit trees,” added Molland. “Not everybody picks up their windfalls and they just leave the fruit on the ground rotting and that attracts the Bears.”

The Conservation Officer Service in Black Creek, which covers the Campbell River, Comox Valley area says it is seeing an increase in the number of bear calls. It has responded to 156 reports of human wildlife conflicts involving bears since the beginning of September.

“We’re trying to get word out that fruits on the ground do attract bears, garbage attract bears this time of year. What they’re trying to do is fatten up for the winter months so they’re out and about.” said Molland.

Conservation Officers say before the rains came and rivers were still low, fall salmon returns were delayed meaning bears were trying to find food somewhere else.

They were just trying to feed their cubs and ended up paying the ultimate price.

“Sensible thing to do with your garbage is take it away, put it in your garage, do not put your garbage out the night before. That’s a huge issue.” said Molland.

As for fruit, experts say fruit trees should be picked and rotten fruit on the ground should be picked up.

The centre says it expects even more bear cubs to come in this fall as they become orphans during hunting season.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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