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Five bear cubs released by Errington recovery centre

Errington's Wildlife Recovery Centre released five rehabilitated cubs into the wild on Saturday.
Twin bear cubs Mie and U eating shortly after their rescue from the Port McNeil area last year.

ERRINGTON — The bear enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre (NIWRA) is no longer home to a group of young bear cubs.

That’s because volunteers were successful in releasing five more bear cubs from the facility on Sat., Jan. 14. The young cubs were admitted to the centre located in Errington during the spring of 2011 but have now been released into the wild. The bears now out exploring the wilderness include a set of twins from the Campbell River area.

Their mother had been shot by a hunter: a single cub from the Port Alice area whose mom had to be euthanized after repeatedly coming into town and a set of twins from Port McNeil whose mother had been killed by a vehicle on the highway.

All five cubs had been raised at the centre until they were old enough to be released.

All of them were sedated and examined by wildlife veterinarian Dr. Helen Schwantje before being cleared for release. Conservation officers attended as well to ear-tag the cubs and transport them for release at two sites on the north Island

It brings to 12 the number of releases for the season and leaves the facility with no cubs remaining in rehab.

NIWRA Assistant Manager Julie Mackey said they will now wait to see what arrives this spring.