The black bear cubs saved by a conservation officer — causing country wide controversy — are alive and well at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington.
Jordan and Athena are approximately five months old and Julie Mackey, NIWRA assistant wildlife manager said “They’re like every other set of orphan bear cubs.”
The bear cubs will stay at the center for a year and will be released next fall, Mackey said. They keep the cubs for a year, covering the time they would hibernate with their mother in nature, Mackey said. “It just gets their social behavior and that type of thing going.”
The bear cubs were brought to the centre after conservation officer, Bryce Casavant refused to euthanize them after killing their mother in Port Hardy after she repeatedly broke into a meat freezer in a mobile home. He was suspended from duty.
A change.org petition to reinstate the officer had 153,595 signatures as of July 11.
So far the bear cubs have been skittish of the other bear cubs, but Mackey said give it a week. The cubs will play together when younger and hibernate together which is good because the cubs will get used to others of their species, she said.
Mackey said if the cubs were older and habituated they would have likely been destroyed but in this instance the bear cubs did not learn bad habits from their mother.
“The conservation officer and home owner both contacted us and said the cubs never did enter the home, it was just the mother,” Mackey said.
“They’re not showing any food habituation… they’re scared of us as much as any cub should be scared of us.”
Mackey said technically the cubs still could be euthanized, but it seems highly unlikely. “I really don’t think at this point that they’d make that move.”
“They’re perfect, healthy, pudgy little bear cubs,”
— with files from Black Press