Orphaned Grizzly Bear Finally Gets to Go Home

An orphaned grizzly bear that was found near starvation last winter has been given a chance for a new life this week after being returned to the wild in Golden, B.C.

The cub, named Tika, was rescued by a conservation officer just before Christmas 2012 when he wandered away from the woods and into a residential backyard.

He was transported to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, which runs a pilot rehab center in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare and British Columbia’s forests and environment ministries.

Angelika Langen, who runs the facility with her husband Peter, said the “weak and skinny six-month-old cub weighed about a third of what he should have weighed when he arrived.”

Tika had bulked up to more than 158 pounds by the time he left for home this week.

“He spent the winter noshing on meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, dandelions and his favorite treat – grapes,” said Langen. “He’s a feisty little fellow.”

“He’s just a cutie and a really nice little bear,” added Langen as she took Tika to a remote part of Golden. “He is all healthy and rambunctious so we’re very excited that he recuperated this well.”

Langen admitted to having mixed emotions about setting Tika free.

“It’s always a little bit of a concern because you don’t know what they encounter out there,” said Langen.

Tika has been fitted with a satellite collar that will be used to monitor his movements for the next 18 months. It will help researchers determine whether releasing orphaned bears back into the wild is truly feasible. The collar, which costs $5000, is funded through IFAW.

Tika is the eleventh grizzly to be rescued, rehabilitated and released from the Northern Lights Wildlife Society.

While two of the collars worn by female bears have malfunctioned, most of the data returned from the other grizzlies has shown a successful transition back into the wild.

The Langens say they will know their program has officially succeeded when one of the rescued female bears assimilates well enough to mate with a wild bear. This is something that has not happened yet.

The Langens are happy to give Tika a second chance for a new life and hope for the best for his future.

Photo Credit: NorthernLightsWildlifeSociety

116 comments

Terri B.
Terri B.2 years ago

YAY!!! some good news, for a change. God speed, tika!!! i hope you live a long and happy life in the wild!

Mark Donner
Mark Donner2 years ago

With all those crazed Harper loving animal torturing rednecks in savage Canada I hope this bear doesn't get treated the same as a seal pup

Zara V.
Zara Verryt2 years ago

Good luck Tika :)

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

So happy for this baby!

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright3 years ago

Awesome! Better news than that poor baby deer who was murdered while at a no~kill shelter.

Have a great life Tika, and stay away from humans. Stay safe and healthy and have a long life.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Claudia Cavallo
Claudia Cavallo3 years ago

Good luck dear Tika

Ilona V.
Ilona V.3 years ago

Thanks. Wonderful. God bless you Tika!

Waheeda S.
Waheeda S.3 years ago

Good luck Tika! Thank you to the sanctuary as well.

Nora McKellar
Nora M3 years ago

i love animal rehabilitation stories, always give me hope :) good luck Tika!!