Alice is good candidate to return to Vancouver Island’s wilderness wonderland.
A one-year-old male bear cub dubbed “Alice” after being plucked from a tree in the North Island community of Port Alice in December is reportedly thriving at Errington’s North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre and is a good candidate for rehabilitation
“The cub is doing great and is actually in a group now with three other cubs that were rescued through the end of the year,” said the wildlife centre’s animal care supervisor Derek Downes.
Downes said all four rescued cubs were quite small so they ended up being grouped together.
“They are all packing on good body mass, just really thriving, and should have absolutely no issues come release time in the spring.”
So what exactly goes into rehabilitating a bear cub?
Downes said some cubs are so small when they arrive at the wildlife centre that they have to be syringe fed and then transferred to eating out of a bowl as soon as they can. The centre does a full veterinarian examination and a behavioural assessment, which, accordig to Downes, is really paramount “because the cubs need to be wild still.”
“Luckily all four of these cubs are very fearful of people and are showing good avoidance, otherwise they wouldn’t make good candidates for rehabilitation.”
The wildlife centre actually uses three different enclosures to help bear cubs thrive in various stages of rehabilitation, and there is as little contact with the cubs as possible during the process to ensure they don’t become accustomed to people.
Once cubs are ready to return to the wild, the centre tries its best to release them as close to where they were captured as possible into an undisclosed area.