Canada Orphaned cubs slated for early summer release back into Banff National Park

05:35  12 april  2018
05:35  12 april  2018 Source:   calgaryherald.com

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The three black bear cubs found in a Banff public washroom last spring are slated to return to the national park in early summer . The bruins have been undergoing rehabilitation at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario since mid-2017.

Orphaned cubs slated for early summer release back into Banff National Park . What followed was a question period drenched by political back -and-forth about Sunday’s move by Kinder Morgan to halt non-essential spending on the .4-billion project.

041118-Bears_pic© By Spencer Van Dyk 041118-Bears_pic

The three black bear cubs found in a Banff public washroom last spring are slated to return to the national park in early summer.

The bruins have been undergoing rehabilitation at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario since mid-2017.

They have since woken up after their winter slumber but haven’t fully come out of hibernation.

“They’ll sort of wake up if you look in on them, but they’re pretty groggy and not totally with it, so we don’t want to disturb them,” said Howard Smith, managing director of Aspen Valley. “They’re not normally disturbed in hibernation, so by checking on them, like I said (we did it) once in January, and just a few days ago.”

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Orphaned cubs slated for early summer release back into Banff National Park . The three black bear cubs found in a Banff public washroom last spring are slated to return to the national park in early summer .

Orphaned cubs slated for early summer release back into Banff National Park Wed, 11 Apr 2018 17:17:50 GMT. The three black bear cubs found in a Banff public washroom last spring are slated to return to the national park in early summer .

Figuring out the logistics of moving the bears back to Banff is currently in the works, Smith said.

He also said that at more than a year old, they should be big and strong enough for reintroduction into Banff.

“These bears are likely going to be bigger than they would have been had they been in the wild because we’ve fed them,” Smith said. “They’ll have more reserves when they are released so they’ll have something to rely on.”

The trio were found in a bathroom at Vermillion Lakes just outside of Banff on April 1, 2017, and a search for their mother proved fruitless.

There was then a question of where the cubs would be taken for rehabilitation, as Alberta does not allows wildlife sanctuaries to take in bear cubs and British Columbia does not accept out-of-province animals.

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The three black bear cubs found in a Banff public washroom last Spring are slated for an early summer re- release into Banff National Park . http EC snowfall warning has ended for Banff Nat'l Park , Nordegg, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House and surrounding areas.

On this day, 3 orphaned bear cubs were found in a Banff National Park bathroom (no doubt due to the accidental killing of their mother during hunting season) and were allowed to be transported to a wildlife sanctuary in Ontario, the plan, to be rehabilitated and returned to the park this year for release .

The bears were approved for shipment to Ontario and have been at Aspen Valley in the Muskoka region for more than a year.

The three female cubs, which were around five to six pounds when Smith got them, have grown significantly and are now in the neighbourhood of 130 pounds each.

In December, Aspen Valley stopped feeding them to trigger hibernation.

Once they re-emerge and have been started on a blander diet, Parks Canada will start sending food species indigenous to the park for them to eat, so they get used to the taste and smell of what they will consume after reintroduction.

Smith said he’s not sure where exactly the bears will be released in Banff, as it will be up to Parks staff.

Alberta’s ban on private rehabilitation of orphaned black bear cubs, in place since 2010 and to be lifted by the province in the coming weeks, has meant bears orphaned in the province have been killed, sent to zoos or rehabilitation facilities outside the province.

SVanDyk@postmedia.com

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