The yearling cub that woke early in Trail has been safely relocated to an animal sanctuary in Smithers called Northern Lights Wildlife Society. Northern Lights photo

Kootenay cub wakes too early, re-located north to sanctuary

Yearling awakens too early from winter slumber, BC COs & volunteers move him from Trail to Smithers

There’s a fairy-tale ending to the story about the little bear that woke up in the middle of wintertime in Trail.

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After numerous sightings were called into the BC Conservation Service the last week of January, the cub was tranquilized by a conservation officer on Feb. 2 in East Trail. The yearling was then safely transported to a wildlife sanctuary in Smithers, and he is reported to be doing well.

So his life will hopefully be a long and healthy one in the surroundings where a bear belongs – in the wild and away from urban life.

“We are happy to say that yesterday morning the yearling cub from Trail arrived safe and sound,” Northern Lights Wildlife Society announced Feb. 4. “All in all (he) looks healthy and right now we are just giving him time to settle in and get over the capture and transport.”

Conservation Officer Ben Beetlestone says the decision to tranquilize the young male, and re-locate him up north, was made in consultation with a provincial veterinarian.

“It was decided that it was the best thing to do in this situation,” Beetlestone told the Trail Times, mentioning the little bear was in good shape when captured.

“Just knowing that if the bear did go back into hibernation, he was probably going to wake up early and be accustomed to people already,” explained Beetlestone.

“And it would probably end up getting into trouble because he was already starting to get into potentially non-natural food sources. So based on all that, for the health and wellness of the bear, the decision was made by our provincial vet.”

Northern Lights Wildlife Society provides young injured and/or orphaned wildlife with a safe and healthy environment to mature into adulthood, upon which they are released back to the wild.

“As always it took a group of people with a heart for wildlife to save the bear in need, as with no natural feed available he would have starved to death,” the society said.

“Huge thanks to the Conservation Officers for capturing and approving (him) for rehab as well.”

Once the bear was tranquilized, and crated in the Castlegar conservation office for one night (Beetlestone said they keep a Northern Lights crate on hand) volunteers first drove it to Kelowna, then to Kamloops, and finally to Smithers.

“Now add to that winter driving conditions and you can see the commitment people are making to save a life,” the society said of the 16-hour trip from Trail to Smithers.

“Thank you also to all the others that offered to drive and those that have now signed up to be volunteer drivers in the future. If we all give a little, great things happen, together we make the impossible, a reality.”

To donate to this charity and help the cub as well as other sanctuary animals, visit canadahelps.org and in the search bar type “Northern Lights Wildlife Society.”



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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