One of the five bears admitted to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre this year. Four of the bears are in the bear enclosure at the centre while the fifth is still in intensive care. — Lauren Collins photo One of the five bears admitted to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre this year. Four of the bears are in the bear enclosure at the centre while the fifth is still in intensive care. — Lauren Collins photo

VIDEO: Wildlife centre reminds people to be bear aware

Bear cubs admitted to centre after mothers put down

The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre is once again reminding people to be bear aware.

Since June, the Errington centre has admitted five bear cubs. The two most recent bear cubs, from Port Alberni, and one from Black Creek were admitted after their moms became habituated to humans and had to be destroyed, said Tawny Molland, animal care technician at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association (NIWRA).

“Their moms were starting to get into garbage and they were starting to get aggressive, and so unfortunately the COs (conservation officers) had to make that decision to euthanize at that point,” Molland said.

Molland said bears are starting to fatten up for the winter.

“They know that there is a food source out there — garbage — along with fruit trees, so that typically brings the bears closer in to population.”

The point NIWRA and other organizations are trying to get out to the public, Molland said, is that people need to secure their garbage.

“Don’t put it out the night before, that’s a huge attraction for the bears,” said Molland, adding that people can look into bear-proof containers or store cans in a garage or shed.

RELATED: Bear spotted in Qualicum Beach

Molland said people should also pick up any fruit that has fallen off trees. She also said NIWRA accepts the fruits as donations to feed the bear cubs.

Molland said the bear cubs will be under the care of NIWRA for another year, until they can be released into the wild next fall. She said the centre typically keeps the cubs for 18 months.

The five bears, Molland said, were born around February of this year.

Molland said a female cub from Woss was one of the first cubs admitted to NIWRA this year, but the centre doesn’t know the circumstances of what happened to the bear. Molland said the cub is still in intensive care. Her name is Rae.

The next four cubs — one from Black Creek, one of Sooke and two from Port Alberni — have been living together in the bear enclosure at the centre.

The bear from Sooke, Molland said, was brought to the centre after its mother was hit by a car and was no longer able to car for the cub. Her name is Tim, short for Timbalina.

The cub from Black Creek, James, was admitted to the centre after his mother was becoming aggressive.

The two most recent bear cubs, Dean and Black Jack from Port Alberni, were brought in on Oct. 11, after their mother also showed signs of aggression.

While visitors can’t see the bears in the enclosure, people may observe the bears on a closed-circuit TV at the centre.

NIWRA, located at 1240 Leffler Rd. in Errington, is now open year-round. For more information, visit www.niwra.org.

Just Posted

Recycling subsidy means tax break for RDCK residents

Province steps in to fund newsprint recycling

Nelson searches for answers to fentanyl crisis

A packed event Wednesday featured seven speakers and plenty of questions

Police ask city for $100K budget increase

The extra money is needed to cover salary costs

Nelson firefighter wage negotiations in year six

Firefighting is an essential service, so strikes are illegal

EcoSociety asks city to become 100 per cent renewable

The plan would have Nelson ditch fossil fuels by 2050

Nelson homes found without working smoke alarms

Fire chief Len MacCharles says his members found 21 homes in need of alarms

COLUMN: Let’s keep your money circulating in the region

Chamber of Commerce executive director Tom Thomson on buying locally

Doug Bothamley Cash Spiel returns this weekend

The annual tournament runs Friday to Sunday at the Nelson Curling Centre

COLUMN: Taking another look at Kelowna

Columnist Donna Macdonald finds many things to love about the city Nelsonites love to hate

Earthquake gently rocks Nelson to sleep

Did you feel the earthquake? (Probably not)

RDCK holds open house on proposed boat launch

RDCK hosted an open house at Blewett Elementary to discuss plans for a boat launch at Taghum Beach

LVR Bombers volleyball team off to provincials

The senior girls’ squad secured a spot with a win over Trail last week

Most Read