IFAW Grizzly Bear Rehabilitation Project
Author: teddygirl | Saturday September 13, 2008
The following is from International Fund for Animal Welfare, an organization that protects animals and their environments worldwide.
Orphan bear cubs have little chance for survival in the wild.
So when a female cub was spotted near Tumbler Ridge, British Colombia, Canada, in the summer of 2007, local conservation officials jumped into action. There was no sign of her mother, who had likely fallen prey to a poacher’s bullet. Fearing for her survival, officials captured her and contacted the Northern Lights Wildlife Society.
Frightened and underweight, the bear, named Suzy, was immediately given round-the-clock care by the staff at the center.
And so began a year-long journey of rehabilitation for Suzy, and the beginning of a new project that will give orphaned bears like her a second chance.
A Unique Alliance for Bear Protection
The Grizzly Bear Rehabilitation Project is a collaboration between IFAW, the Northern Light Wildlife Society (NLWS), and the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. The three organizations came together to ensure that orphaned grizzlies like Suzy could get a second chance to be wild.
Suzy will not be alone – joining her on this adventure will be “Johnny”, orphaned in November, 2007 after his mother was killed by a semi-truck. Since then Johnny has been cared for at the wildlife center. Both bears are doing very well and seem eager to return to the wild. They will be released into a remote area with abundant food, water, and excellent “bear habitat”.
When they are released, both Suzy and Johnny will be wearing special collars that will allow researchers to follow their movements and monitor what they are doing in the wild. The collars, set to fall off in September 2009, will not interfere with the bears’ ability to move around or interact with the environment.
A project to build on
The grizzly bear project will scientifically prove that the rehabilitation and release of grizzly bears is possible – an option that is preferable to euthanizing orphaned cubs or subjecting them to a life of captivity in a zoo.
IFAW’s hope is that this project will lay the groundwork for similar grizzly bear rehabilitation projects in Canada and the United States – everywhere that grizzly bears are found.
For more information, visit International Fund for Animal Welfare website.