The parasite was found in the grizzly bears for the first time

Autopsy reveals downtown grizzly cub died of parasite

A grizzly cub that died in the Bella Coola townsite was suffering from a parasite known as Sarcocystis caninum.

A grizzly cub that died in the Bella Coola townsite was suffering from a parasite known as Sarcocystis caninum. Little is know about the parasite, but Dr. Helen Schwantje, Wildlife Veterinarian with the province, said that this is the first time the parasite has been discovered in grizzly bears.

The cub was part of the family unit that had become a familiar site in the townsite during the month of September and October until local conservation officers destroyed the mother after several unsuccessful attempts at removal.

Dr. Schwantje said she was very happy with the efforts made by local conservation officers to send the cub for autopsy, as it enabled her and her team to do some important research.

“Last year we found a fairly high number of deceased black bear cubs in the southern part of the province were either carrying or had died of Sarcocystis caninum infection, which can affect the liver and even the brain,” she explained. “However, this is the first time we have seen the parasite in grizzly bears.”

 

Schwantje said that little is known about the parasite, including what its host is or how the bears become infected. She speculates they become infected through ingesting it from a food source, although it remains unclear which food source that is and why certain bears succumb to the parasite while others do not.

“It’s starting to get the attention of researchers,” she said. “It’s a relatively new thing and I think it may be a matter of the more you look, the more you find. We are not sure how much of the population is carrying the parasite or how it’s affecting them, but hopefully we will be able to do more research to find out.”

The remaining cub was sent to Northern Lights Rehabilitation Facility in Smithers

Just Posted

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf ready for summer season

The plan is to have the Northern Sea Wolf assume the mid-coast service as of May 18

Historic building in Alexis Creek destroyed by fire overnight

“If it hadn’t been a heavy rain last night we could have lost many houses in the area”

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

OP-ED: Striking a balance with the oil tanker moratorium

Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut, on protecting Canada’s environment and economy with Bill C-48

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Fire forces 36 people at Vanderhoof care home to evacuate

No one was hurt after the fire at Stuart Nechako Manor

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

B.C. Interior yoga studio raises $2,500 for woman leaving abusive relationship

The 100 Mile House studio held a fundraiser yoga class and accepted donations from members to help the woman

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Most Read