Orphaned Bear Cub Rescued in British Columbia
Filed by Angelika Langen & Kim Elmslie
On Sunday Nov 11 the Northern Lights Wildlife Society received a report that a young grizzly was orphaned near Prince George, the cub’s mother was hit and killed by a large truck a week previous to the report. On Monday morning at 4 am Angelika Langen left Smithers to rescue the cub. Weather conditions where extremely poor and driving was a slow process due to poor visibility and fresh snow and slush. Angelika reached Purden Lake at 11.30 am and began to search for the cub but found no sign of him. Local people provided information that assisted in narrowing down the location of the bear, one individual, Mario left the town of Valmont (a 2 hour drive away) to assist in the search. At 2pm Angelika finally sited the cub digging for roots at the side of the road
BC Ministry of Environment wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Helen Schwantje assisted from her Victoria office by connecting with Gary VanSpengen a Prince George Conservation officer, who promised his assistance in the capture. While waiting for Gary’s arrival Mario arrived and helped Angelika kept an eye of the young cub. The weather turned from bad to worse, strong winds and driving rain had Angelika and Mario worried that the cub would seek shelter in the nearby wooded area. Luckily Gary arrived in time and a well placed shot with the tranquilizer gun send the little cub, named Johnny by Mario and his friends, into the land of dreams.
At the “All Mobile Veterinary Clinic” in Prince George Johnny received
a complete check up to ensure there was no harm done to him in the
capture. By this time it was too late to return to Smithers and
Angelika and Johnny stayed over in Prince George continuing their
journey home the next morning.
Once safely delivered to the shelter isolation unit Johnny enjoyed his
first meal in his new home. The green color on his face comes from the
dye used to apply a lip tattoo for the purpose of future identification
and will disappear in a few hours. With this second cub Northern
Lights and IFAW now has an even better chance to gather the much needed
data to prove that rehabilitation of grizzly cubs is possible.