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Wildlife shelter swamped by influx of black bear cubs

Scotch, Poppy and Caju from Dawson Creek
cotch, Poppy and Caju from Dawson Creek

The wildlife shelter that took in a pair of orphaned black bear cubs from Prince George last month is swamped with rescues.

The Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter in Smithers has taken in a record 16 bear cubs already, and the rescue season is just getting started.

“We have more than four times the bears that we would usually have at this time of year.” Northern Lights Society manager and co-founder Angelika Langen said.

“We are really scrambling, usually we get two or three that young, and they are a lot of work because they are still all nursing so we need a lot of milk and formula”

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Langen says the bears will cost at least $50 a day to feed until the end of August, something that was a bit unexpected for the non-profit group. She says they will be reaching out to the public with fundraising this spring to fill the gap.

“I’m sure we can make it work, we always have in the past.”

Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter is one of just three centres in the province able to rescue and release bears. They usually take in bears until the fall, and release them again in the spring.

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