return orphaned grizzly bear cubs to the wild and track their progressNorthern Lights Wildlife Society


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  • To rehabilitate and release 2010's orphaned grizzly bear cubs
  • To study the behaviour and survival of the cubs upon release
  • To do community outreach and education about grizzly bear rehab

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So far in 2010 we have 4 grizzly bear cubs in care to be released in 2011. They were orphaned when their mothers were shot. We are part of one of the first projects in North America to rehabilitate orphaned grizzlies and study their behaviour upon release back into the wild.

In the past, orphaned grizzly bear cubs were either destroyed or put into zoos. Through this project we hope to show governments throughout North America that grizzly bear rehabilitation is an acceptable alternative to this practice.

The cubs will be cared for at our shelter until they are ready to be released in the summer of 2011. Upon release they are fitted with GPS/VHF collars. This allows field researchers to track their movements in order to monitor their behaviour and survival. Ultimately, we hope to show that rehabilitated grizzly bear cubs are capable of displaying the same array of natural behaviours as a cub raised by its mother in the wild and to effectively reintegrate back into wild grizzly populations

Community Benefit

There are hundreds of bear-human conflicts in BC every year. In the past, the policy was often to destroy the bear(s) involved. However, public outcry in communities throughout the province showed that there was strong concern about the welfare of the bears, particularly when young cubs were involved. The rehabilitation of orphaned black bear cubs has been considered an acceptable alternative for several decades. However, governments throughout North America have been hesitant to allow the rehabilitation of grizzly bear cubs. Through our care of the cubs and subsequent research following their release, we hope to show governments throughout North America that grizzly bear rehabilitation can be successful and that their policies should be updated. In this way, we hope to see future orphaned grizzly bears getting a second chance to return to their lives in the wild. There is both a clear need for this project and strong support for the work from communities throughout BC.

How will the $25K be used?

$ 10,000 GPS/VHF collars for the bears upon release
$ 10,000 Field costs for 2 researchers
$ 5,000 Costs of caring for and releasing the cubs

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