Chevy is one of the 22 bear cubs being rehabilitated by the Critter Care Wildlife Society.

Hungry cubs need help

The local wildlife rescue organization has 22 bear cubs.

  • Nov. 23, 2015 6:00 p.m.

by Dan Fumano

“Moxie” came down from Grouse Mountain, “Molly” is from Merritt, and the one they call “Chevy” was named for the Chevron refinery in Burnaby, near where he was rescued.

They’re just three of the record number of orphaned bear cubs taken in this year by a Metro Vancouver animal rescue centre now pleading for donations to feed the animals.

Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley has already received 26 cubs this season, many of them on the brink of starvation.

Four bears died within 24 hours of rescue, and staff and volunteers are working hard to nurture the remaining 22 back to health.

Gail Martin, Critter Care’s founder and executive director, has worked in animal rehab for 30 years and has never seen an influx of orphaned bears like this.

“They’re coming out of the woodwork,” she said.

In an average year, she said, Critter Care might take in between 10 and 15 orphaned bears among the 1,200 and 1,300 mammals from around B.C. it rehabilitates and releases into the wild.

Many of the animals are too small and underweight to hibernate right now, she said. Two bears rescued over the weekend weighed only about 20 pounds each, far below a healthy weight.

“A healthy cub with good food would be about 60 pounds,” said Dr. Ken MacQuisten, a veterinarian who has cared for Critter Care’s bears for years.

It’s difficult to say what is causing this year’s surge in orphaned bears, MacQuisten said, but it’s unlikely the orphaned cubs would have survived a winter if left to fend for themselves. But now, he said, with enough food and care, the rescued bears should be able to recover and be healthy by next year.

“They’ll catch back up. They’re incredibly resilient,” he said.

Critter Care is appealing for donations of fruit and vegetables to feed the bears.

The four bears who died this year shortly after arriving at Critter Care were severely underweight, Martin said.

“They had been eating metal and plastic and just trying to stay alive,” Martin said. “I find that very sad.”

“Bears have that will to live. To lose four this year, that’s the first time ever. They’re such a hearty animal, it just doesn’t happen.”

– Dan Fumano is a reporter with the Vancouver Province. Read more Province stories HERE.

 

Just Posted

DW Poppy Sr. boys basketball defeats ACSS Totems rivals

DW Poppy’s Sr. boys RedHawks defeated ACSS Totems this Friday in a high-stakes basketball match.

VIDEO: All ages participate in Langley Hospice Historic Half marathon

Turnout was down, slightly, this year but donations are up

LETTER: Langley man says Wilson-Raybould deserves Canadians’ respect

A letter writer said the former federal justice minister is one of a rare class of politicians.

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Rockets

Langley-based G-men take over top spot in the west

Langley Township goes high tech to spotlight local history

To mark the start of History Week, the Township has put out a new app all about the community.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read