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UPDATE: Orphaned Grizzly Bear Cubs Rescued In Canada

UPDATE: Orphaned Grizzly Bear Cubs Rescued In Canada

Care2 Readers: A few weeks ago, I wrote about three orphaned grizzly bear cubs that had been rescued in Canada. The bears’ mother was shot and killed when she charged a conservation officer checking bear traps in the area. Many of you had questions and concerns about why the officer was checking traps and why he used lethal force on the mother.

I asked the organization that rescued the cubs, the Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS) shelter in Smithers, British Columbia, for more information about this situation to provide better understanding about why this incident took place, and how it could be avoided again in the future.

Here are answers from NLWS Director Angelika Langen.

Q: Why was the conservation officer checking bear traps?

A: “A sow with two cubs was repeatedly reported as a nuisance bear. As we were close to hibernation, a trap was set with hopes to relocate the family unit. As Bella Coola has no resident officers, they get flown in from whomever region has one to spare. Subsequently the CO’s are not familiar with the local bear group. In this case the officer was totally unaware that there was also a mother with 3 cubs in the area. When he checked the trap and saw three bears (one markedly bigger than the others) he considered himself extremely lucky to have caught the family in one strike. As he approached the trap he was totally unaware that there could be another bear out there, as he had indeed caught the triplets instead of the [entire] family unit.”

Q: Why was lethal force used on the mother bear instead of a tranquilizer or other means?

A: “As I said above he never even considered that this was not the family unit, as that information was not made available to him. When the sow attacked he shot in self-defence, there was no time to consider other options.”

Q: What steps will be taken to protect the cubs (from traps or other conservation officers) once they are released back into the wild?

A: “The Conservation Officers are not to blame! The government’s continue[d] cutting of resources and funding have left the few Conservation officers left in an impossible position to manage our wildlife.

“The fact is, no matter what the individual opinion is, if the policies set by the politicians say we save bears (or other animals) that is what is going to happen. Politicians use CO’s as their scapegoats, people are outraged at the CO shooting the bear, when in fact the politician is the one telling him (in no uncertain terms, they are not given a choice here) to pull the trigger, as it is financially cheaper to kill than to manage.  As long as there is no change in policies, the protection these cubs are currently enjoying will be short lived.”

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Image Credit: wildlifeshelter.com

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125 comments

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11:20PM PST on Dec 20, 2010

HAS ANYONE THOUGHT OF CONTACTING DOUG SEUS AS HE HAS DONE GREAT WORK WITH GRIZZLIES. HE HAS SET UP VITAL GROUND UP IN CANADA. MAYBE HE CAN HELP. HE IS THE GUY THAT RAISED BART THE BEAR FROM THE MOVIES. BART HAS PASSED ON BUT HE NOW HAS LITTLE BART & HUNNY BUMP THAT HE TRAINS FOR THE MOVIES.

3:31PM PST on Dec 12, 2010

Petition signed on June 17th. This sickens me to think the mother was killed with no after thought. People have to learn to co-exist, not murder what gets in their way. There are way too many humans on this earth and most that don't have any respect for animals, the environment, any other human or even themselves.

11:47AM PST on Dec 7, 2010

Thanks for the article. It is sad to hear about.

11:49PM PST on Dec 4, 2010

well...this is a really sick system...yes...let's just pay our politicians a lot more money to continue to do such a crappy job...they seemed to have covered all the bases...screwing the people, screwing the animals...screwing the environment...yep...all bases covered.....something to really be proud of...likely their mothers are not around any longer or they'd be so horrified to have raised such lying, cheating, insensitive "politicians" as these....

4:19PM PST on Dec 3, 2010

Thank you. It's very sad!

4:52PM PST on Nov 30, 2010

Thank you for an interesting article, it has broadened my knowledge.

1:13PM PST on Nov 30, 2010

It's a real shame these cubs lost their mom. I seriously thought that conservationist or rangers were trained to be aware of bears around them. I always thought you were suppose to make alot of Noise in BEAR COUNTRY so you weren't attacked by a bear. So WHAT HAPPENED HERE??
And I'm sorry to say, but I feel sorry for the Bear and the Cubs!!!

9:48PM PST on Nov 29, 2010

very cool

8:46PM PST on Nov 29, 2010

good

6:25PM PST on Nov 29, 2010

Chaque personne réagit différament,malheureusement cet
agent a eut la gachette un peu trops vite avec un triste résultat,
sans la mère les oursons vont trouver le temp un peu trop
long pour s'adapter a leurs nouvelle vie ./

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