Wednesday, February 19, 2020
ADVT 
National

Bear Cub, Rescued Near Mother'S Body, Dies Unexpectedly In Wildlife Refuge

The Canadian Press, 04 Dec, 2018
  • Bear Cub, Rescued Near Mother'S Body, Dies Unexpectedly In Wildlife Refuge
TOFINO, B.C. — A British Columbia wildlife refuge says staff are upset and shocked after a bear cub that was rescued near his mother's dead body this spring died unexpectedly in his enclosure.
 
 
The bear named Malcolm was asphyxiated after getting his head stuck in a small rope handle attached to a plastic buoy, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre says in a statement on Monday.
 
 
"In the morning of his death, he was routinely observed on the cameras playing contentedly on the large tree stumps that had been provided in his cage. In the mid-afternoon, animal care staff were at the pre-release building and opened the food hatch to check on the Malcolm's activities," the centre says.
 
 
"At that time the cub was seen to be immobile and on the ground beside one of the tree stumps. Staff immediately entered the enclosure recognizing that there was a serious problem. ... There were no signs of a struggle and we suspect he got his head through the loop and then very quickly asphyxiated."
 
 
There has been a buoy suspended by a chain from a tree stump in Malcolm's enclosure since he was first introduced, it says. The buoys have been a common source of enrichment for bears and there have never been any hints of injuries or mishaps, it adds.
 
 
"We feel that it represents a very unfortunate accident involving an extremely rare set of circumstances. Caring for these special animals is an emotionally intense experi
ence and we feel this loss profoundly. However, we will learn from this and be better at what we do," it says.
 
Founder and operations manager Robin Campbell said in an interview that the centre has now removed the ropes attached to the buoys from all enclosures. He said in 20 years there had never been an incident like this.
 
 
"It's just a terrible, terrible thing," he said.
 
 
The cub was about eight to 12 weeks old and extremely malnourished when it was discovered in May lying on its mother's carcass in Tofino, B.C.
 
 
"There was a lot of drama in saving it," Campbell said. "Every little step of the way was like a little miracle. So when he finally turned into this wild bear and he was in his home stretch, all he had to do was go into hibernation and then next summer he would have been released."
 
 
The centre's statement says despite some initial health problems associated with emaciation and hypoglycemia, the bear had shown good physical and behavioural progress while in care. He was sedated and examined on Oct. 18 and found to be healthy and in very good body condition, so he was moved to a pre-release enclosure.
 
 
The enclosure affords lots of space and enrichment and less contact with people, but allows for good CCTV monitoring from several angles, the centre says. 
 
 
Jennifer Steven and her husband John Forde, co-owners of the Whale Centre in Tofino, spotted the tiny cub in Ross Pass in May and rescued it by scooping it into a dog kennel.
 
 
Steven said Monday she was "devastated" by the bear's death but she hoped people would not blame the wildlife refuge.
 
 
"It's sad because so much was put into the effort to save the bear. Accidents happen in life and there's definitely no hard feelings against the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. They did so much to save that cub," she said.
 
 
She and her husband visited the cub a few times at the wildlife refuge and he appeared to be doing great, she said. The refuge also sent them videos showing his growth into a "very large" bear, she said.
 
 
There are many animals that would die without the centre, Steven said, and she urged people to support it.
 
 
"They did the best that they could and accidents happen. We always learn from accidents like this, and if they can be prevented, great," she said.
 
 
"I hope everyone can make a small donation to them because he's not the only bear there, he's not the only animal there, and they do such a good job."

MORE National ARTICLES

Mother Weeps For Her Son: Trial Hears How Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks Died

Mother Weeps For Her Son: Trial Hears How Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks Died

CALGARY — A mother's anguish was evident at the opening of a second-degree murder trial for the man accused of killing a Calgary Stampeders player.

Mother Weeps For Her Son: Trial Hears How Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks Died

Fake Website Launched In New Brunswick To Educate Investors About Real Scams

Fake Website Launched In New Brunswick To Educate Investors About Real Scams

FREDERICTON — People who fell for a website hyping a too-good-to-be-true investment opportunity for New Brunswick's coastline got lucky: The scam wasn't intended to trap potential investors, but to teach them.

Fake Website Launched In New Brunswick To Educate Investors About Real Scams

Ottawa Announces $50M To Support Survivors Of Gender-Based Violence

Ottawa Announces $50M To Support Survivors Of Gender-Based Violence

Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef has announced $50 million for programs across Canada that support survivors of gender-based violence, saying more people than ever are coming forward to seek support and tell their stories.

Ottawa Announces $50M To Support Survivors Of Gender-Based Violence

How 2019 Could Bring Canada's First Green Government - On Tiny P.E.I.

How 2019 Could Bring Canada's First Green Government - On Tiny P.E.I.

Tiny Prince Edward Island has long embraced the politically unusual: it had the first premier of non-European heritage, the first elected woman premier and the first openly gay male premier.

How 2019 Could Bring Canada's First Green Government - On Tiny P.E.I.

Saskatchewan Introduces Minimum Semi-Truck Driver Training After Broncos Crash

Saskatchewan Introduces Minimum Semi-Truck Driver Training After Broncos Crash
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is introducing mandatory training for semi-truck drivers almost eight months after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Saskatchewan Introduces Minimum Semi-Truck Driver Training After Broncos Crash

Security Committee Review Of Justin Trudeau's India Trip Finds 'Gaps' In Vetting

Security Committee Review Of Justin Trudeau's India Trip Finds 'Gaps' In Vetting

The national security committee of parliamentarians says guest lists for foreign events involving the prime minister get no systematic vetting.

Security Committee Review Of Justin Trudeau's India Trip Finds 'Gaps' In Vetting