A Conservation Service Officer rescues orphaned bear cub from Sunshine Coast Hwy (Conservation Officer Service/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Orphaned black bears given temporary home in Langley

Critter Care Wildlife Society foster cubs after mother killed on Sunshine Coast highway

Two black bear cubs have been given a temporary home in Langley after their mother was struck by a vehicle last Friday.

Critter Care Wildlife Society took the cubs in over the weekend where they will be cared for and eventually rehabilitated into the wild.

“They are eating,” assured Critter Care executive director Gail Martin. “They were likely born last January, but they are small – about 13 or 14 pounds.”

The sow suffered critical spinal injuries after a driver hit the animal and failed to report the accident on Highway 101 outside the town of Sechelt. The bear was later euthanized on scene by a Conservation Service Officer.

“The mother had given birth to triplets,” Martin explained, “but the third cub was not found at the scene.”

Conservation officers were unable to capture the third sibling and are currently keeping a watch so the lost bear can be properly cared for and reunited with the remainder of its family.

The two that were recused are recovering from the ordeal and fattening up with a specially made formula. “They are on goats milk every four hours right now,” said Martin.

“But we also cook up rice and give that to them mixed up with yogurt. They love it. Small bits of berries are also mixed in, but not very much right now so they can get used to it and not get the runs.”

Martin said the cubs were small compared to other cubs coming in. Two others were recused and given to the society last week from Maple Ridge and Port Alberni, bringing the bear total to 11.

“We have never had 11 at this time of year… it’s been a real strange year,” Martin said.

Black bear cubs emerge from their den at two to three months of age – weighing around five pounds. They typically stay with their mother for the first year and a half of their life – weighing close to 30 pounds when they finally do go their own way.

Read more: Two cases of feeding bears being investigated in B.C.

“We will have to support the little guys until they can be released next spring,” Martin explained.

Critter Care Wildlife Society has recused over 50,000 animals in the past 30 years. With 53 staff members and interns looking after bears, raccoons, skunks, and many other injured forest animals, donations to keep the society running are welcomed.

“People can help give financial support to feed them,” Martin said. “Food can also be donated such as extra berries are also accepted. Towels, blankets, paper all help.”

The society accepts donations at its facility located at 481 216 Street or online at www.crittercarewildlife.org.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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