Two bear cubs were rescued by conservation officers after their mother was hit by a car near Revelstoke on Highway 23 south. (Submitted)

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Danielle Hebert

Special to the Review

Two bear cubs were rescued from the scene of an accident on the 23 South near Blanket Creek, last week.

The cubs’ mother was struck by a vehicle and killed on June 11 and the two cubs were rescued that night.

According to Maggie Spizzirri with Revelstoke Bear Aware, it is common for cubs to remain nearby the mother for some time when she has been killed. Somewhat fortunately for the cubs and for the conservation officers who responded to the incident, the two cubs did just that. It was also fortunate that the driver noticed the cubs and alerted the Conservation line to let officers know where the cubs were.

The first cub was easily captured by officers in just a few minutes, however the second took all night to capture. Once they were in the custody of the conservation officers the cubs were transported by volunteers to the Northern Lights Wildlife Sanctuary which is located in Smithers, B.C.

“We are very grateful that the driver knew to call in that there were cubs involved”, said Spizzirri, “and that the conservation areas were actually in the area at the time.”

She said that “They are only about five months old, still too young to survive on their own”.

Spizzirri also said that the cubs will be kept at Northern Lights Sanctuary until they are old enough to survive on their own and at that time they will be released.

The amount of time that that may take varies for each bear. Spizzirri did said that when they are released back to the wild, they will be brought back to their home area where they were found, and that they may or may not be released together, depending on the needs and development of each cub.

Spizzirri said that all things considered this was a great outcome for this type of incident.

She also said that car collisions with bears are very common this time of year especially on Highway 23, and that if you are involved with a bear accident that it is important to take a quick look around to see if there are any cubs nearby and always alert the conservation officers through the RAPP conservation line at 1-877-952-RAPP.

Spizzirri would also like to remind everyone to continue to practice bear safety when it comes to garbage disposal and fruit trees.

“Sometimes I feel like a broken record” she said, “but it really is for everyone’s safety”.

She is referring to safety techniques like keeping garbage inside until the garbage day or in a bear proof container, as well as ensuring that any fruit trees are properly picked.

She also mentioned that there is a gleaning project in which volunteers can pick ripe fruit it property owners are unable to do so, for information on that you can visit fruitshare.ca or revelstokebearaware.org.


 

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