International Fund for Animal Welfare

International Fund for Animal Welfare

November 15, 2007 16:07 ET

IFAW: Orphaned Grizzly Bear Cub Rescued

SMITHERS, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2007) - In a dramatic rescue on Monday, an eleven month old orphaned grizzly bear cub was saved from the edge of a highway after his mother was hit and killed by a large truck. The cub, named Johnny, will be the second grizzly bear to join a pilot rehabilitation project supported by the BC Government, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and the Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS) in Smithers, BC.

Rescuers braved driving rain and strong winds as they searched for the orphaned cub. Just as the weather turned from bad to worse, a local conservation officer arrived in time to sedate the weak and skinny young bruin. The animal was then transported to local veterinarians for a through check up and then introduced into the rehabilitation program at NLWS.

"This program is extremely important, especially in light of the increasing threats to grizzly bears in Canada," said Kim Elmslie, IFAW Bear Campaigner, "ultimately IFAW would like to see a reduction in the conflicts between humans and bears in BC that lead to orphaned cubs. In the mean time, this project will provide the data required to assess and support rehabilitation for grizzly bear cubs."

"IFAW has been involved with bear rehabilitation for many years and recently brought together experts from around the world, including Ms Angelika Langen from NLWS, to discuss methods currently being used to raise and release orphaned cubs."

"With not one but two grizzly bears to rehabilitate - our challenges have doubled," said Ms Angelika Langen.

"But both bears are in good health at this stage and we will do everything we can to keep them that way - right through to their release back to the wild."

The cubs will hibernate at the NLWS in a newly constructed, specially designed enclosure. Upon release, in the late summer, the bears will be closely monitored.

IFAW and the NLWS said: "The BC Government is showing real leadership in finding positive solutions for orphaned grizzly bears that will see them returned to the wild where they belong."

Updates on cub's rehabilitation can be found on the IFAW website at www.ifaw.org or on Northern Lights website at www.wildlifeshelter.com.

Contact Information

  • For photos and video:
    IFAW Canada
    Kim Elmslie
    613-241-3982 or 613-878-4329
    kelmslie@ifaw.org
    or
    Northern Lights Wildlife Society
    Angelika Langan
    250-877-1181