International Fund for Animal Welfare

International Fund for Animal Welfare

December 11, 2008 10:00 ET

IFAW: One Year Milestone for Groundbreaking Grizzly Bear Rehab Program

PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 11, 2008) - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS) and the B.C. Ministry of Environment are celebrating the one year milestone of the groundbreaking grizzly bear rehabilitation program. Over the past year, two grizzly bears (Johnny and Suzy) have been rescued, rehabilitated and released with tracking collars and a new grizzly bear habitat has been constructed at the NLWS just in time for two new grizzly bear cub siblings (Espen and Koda) who have been brought in for rehabilitation and eventual release in the summer of 2009.

"We have had a truly spectacular year with this joint project," said Angelika Langen, Director of the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, "all our work with Johnny and Suzy has resulted in some great new insight into the behaviour of grizzly bears while in care. We are hoping for much the same success with two new grizzly bears brought into the centre several months ago, Espen and Koda."

Espen and Koda will spend the next year in the newly completed grizzly bear enclosure. The enclosure measures over 8000 sq feet, is specifically designed with what the bears require in mind and was built with the support of IFAW and public donations to NLWS. The new grizzly bear enclosure is a marked improvement over the previous one used in the rehabilitation of Johnny and Suzy, the two original grizzly bear cubs rescued and rehabilitated for the pilot project and released earlier this summer.

"Suzy and Johnny have been doing great in the wild. They have both found their own mountain tops to live on which are abundant with natural food sources," said Kim Elmslie, IFAW Campaigner. "This project is continually improving and the new enclosure will provide Espen and Koda with a rich environment to live in until they are released. Projects like this demonstrate that humans can provide essential support for the protection and continuation of this majestic and iconic species."

IFAW and NLWS will continue to provide assistance to orphaned grizzly bear cubs with financial assistance from private donors and the support of the B.C. Ministry of Environment.

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