Orphaned black bear cub found in freezing cold temperatures

Orphaned black bear cub

Just as most bears are hunkering down for hibernation, a cub was found aimlessly wandering along a road in central B.C.

It was about minus 25 degrees Celsius outside when conservation officers responded to a call from a local who found the young black bear near Sinclair Mills, a community located along the north bank of the Fraser River. 

With such cold temperatures and six inches of snow on the ground, they didn’t expect to receive such a call, and they’re still not sure what happened. 

“We don’t always know how cubs get orphaned,” Chris Doyle, deputy chief of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, told reporters in a teleconference on Thursday.

He said that in some cases the sow is shot illegally or hit by a vehicle. In this one, however, they haven’t been able to locate the cub’s mother. 

Photo by Prince George Citizen

When the officers arrived at the scene, the cub was fairly weak, which is why Doyle says “it had likely been out for some time in the cold.”

Unfortunately, it’s too late to reunite the animal with its mother. Although some of the province’s more southern bear populations are still out foraging for food, most are in their dens by now. 

Sometimes, when cubs come in contact with humans at a young age, they grow up without a fear of people and can become a serious danger to the public. There have been a number of highly publicized cases like this, when the B.C. Conservation Officer Service has made the decision to put the bears down. Fortunately, this cub had no prior contact with humans, and the people who found it called the officers immediately, so it was deemed a good candidate for rehabilitation.

The conservation officers handed the cub over to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society near Smithers, where it will be kept over the winter. According to reports, it will be released back to the area it was found in the spring.

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