Two black bear cubs from the Cariboo are doing much better after they were recently captured and transferred to Northern Lights Wildfire Society (NLWS) in Smithers where they will stay through the winter.
Angelika Langen, founder of the shelter with her husband Peter, said both cubs weighed around 25 pounds when they arrived.
“For the size of these two bears I would have liked to see them close to 50 pounds so they are about half of what they should be,” she told the Williams Lake Tribune.
The most recent bear to arrive at the shelter from the Cariboo was captured on Saturday, Nov. 13 in 150 Mile House after the Langens received a call from the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS).
“They asked if we could take this on because they did not have enough manpower to do it,” Langen said, adding she sent a volunteer board member from Quesnel down to 150 Mile House with a live trap.
The trap was set up with bait close to a house where the bear had been sleeping.
“We actually had him in the trap within an hour,” Langen said. “He smelled the bait, got up and dragged himself into the trap to eat and triggered the trap and started his journey up here.”
He was fairly skinny due to severe protein deficiency, which affected his muscles and he was not moving well, she added.
“Usually that’s fixable. He definitely was at a point where out there he would have died. He needed help.”
To get the cub to the shelter, the volunteer drove him to Prince George.
From Prince George another volunteer drove the cub to Burns Lake where Langen picked him up and had him home in the shelter hospital that evening, where he remains.
“He is already improving, but it will take a while. He will be there for a couple of weeks at least. Then we will reassess.”
The other Cariboo bear at the shelter was captured by a conservation officer at property between 150 Mile and Horsefly on Sunday, Nov. 7.
“He only weighed 25.8 pounds, but was in better condition because he had a smaller body size so the weight was a little better on him,” Langen said.
“He is eating up a storm and is doing really well and has already been integrated into one of our non-hibernating groups for the winter. He has a big white ‘V’ on his chest. He’s a very pretty boy.”
In July, after being notified by the COS, the shelter received a set of triplets whose mom had been killed on the road near 108 Mile, plus a single bear who was malnourished.
“The single one was quite ill for a week but made a good recovery. We are trying to get her into hibernation,” Langen said, noting the triplets are hibernating.