Cape Breton bear cubs saved from being euthanized after mother’s death


Published on May 16, 2017

Two Rivers Wildlife Park will be taking in one of the orphaned bear cubs found this month. The facility already has one orphan cub resident: Little Bear, pictured, was rescued last year and is now living at the Cape Breton park.

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SYDNEY, N.S. — After the death of a mother bear, her cubs were found Monday hiding in trees in Inverness County. The mother bear climbed up an electrical pole and was killed, and the cubs’ future was uncertain due to Nova Scotia’s policy on bears in the wild.

But in the case of these two cubs, both will be saved. One of the bear cubs has been placed with Two Rivers Wildlife Park in Mira, while the other was moved from the Department of National Resources (DNR) in Whycocomagh to the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park for care.

Bob Petrie, Director of the Wildlife Division a DNR spoke about the future of the bear cubs.

“There are facilities that are qualified to hold and rehabilitate wildlife for release,” Petrie said in an email. “However, as bears quickly become used to humans, there is a high chance that they can become nuisance animals in a province like Nova Scotia, where we have a much smaller landscape with fewer remote areas compared to other provinces.”

Nova Scotia is one of two provinces that do not allow bears to be saved and then re-introduced to the wild. The policy states that one of the bears would have been taken to a wildlife park, while the other would be euthanized.

The predicament of the two orphaned bear cubs was first raised Monday by Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster, who took to Facebook in the hope to raise awareness for the two bear cubs.

“The more interest people take, the greater the chance these cubs will have to live,” MacMaster wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “Why not let Hope For Wildlife have a chance to try.”

Hope For Wildlife had offered to take the bear cubs in with a plan to release them into the wild, if not for the policy. The organization was founded in Seaforth, N.S., in 1997 and specializes in the care, treatment and rehabilitation of injured or orphaned native fur bearing mammals, sea birds and songbirds. The facility has treated and released thousands of mammals and birds representing over 200 various species.