A mother black bear and her three cubs are alive and well in a Smithers shelter after being transported from Prince George last weekend.
The mother and her cubs were discovered hibernating in their den on a farm, just outside Prince George.
Conservation officers called to the scene decided that, with spring coming it wouldn’t be a good idea to leave the mother and her cubs so close to humans, so they contacted the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, in Smithers.
“They asked if we would be able to take the three cubs and we said no problem,” shelter director Tanja Landry said.
Then the officer asked if they could take in the cub’s 280-pound mother.
“After a couple of seconds of thinking about it we said yes.”
Normally in this situation, the mother would be put down and the cubs transferred to a wildlife society by themselves.
But conservation officers decided that, because the bear had never been in contact with humans before, re-introducing her into the wild would be an option.
“This is the first time we have ever done something like this,” Landry said.
The mother and her cubs were sedated, transported to Smithers and given a physical before being moved into sealed hibernation habitat, where they will remain for one or two more months.
“We just want to thank the conservation officers as well,” Landry said.
“Most of the time this wouldn’t be an option, so it’s wonderful they worked so hard to save this family.”
Now, Northern Lights must raise $4,000 to upgrade their habitat to protect the mother from human contact once she wakes from hibernation.
“One-hundred per cent of everything donated goes right to the shelter,” Landry said.
So far, they’ve raised $1,000 and are asking anyone interested in donating to visit their website at www.wildlifeshelter.com.
The shelter treats a variety of animals, native to the northwest and currently houses six other black bear cubs that will be released into the wild this spring.