A tiny black bear cub in Alberta has become a precedent-setting bear.
Provincial policy prevented rehabilitation facilities in the province from taking in orphaned or abandoned black bear cubs. But after much lobbying by animal welfare groups, the government changed that.
And now, the first baby bear to be cared for in province before being returned to the wild.
This orphaned black bear cub was rescued by @FWEnforcement May 23 near Coleman, AB & is now on its way to a wildlife rehab centre. It was likely abandoned due to small size & poor condition. Call the Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800 if you suspect an animal is orphaned. pic.twitter.com/mEjRDICf4t
— Alberta Environment (@AB_Enviro) May 24, 2018
The brown-hued cub was first spotted near Coleman, in Alberta’s deep south.
It was looking for food, approaching campsites and digging in fire pits for scraps.
That’s when wildlife officers stepped in and scooped it up.
“It was likely abandoned due to small size & poor condition,” Alberta Environment said.
In the past, this bear wouldn’t have been so lucky.
Bears would be left to fend for themselves or nature would be left to do what nature does. Sometimes, the hopeless cases wound up shot by wildlife officers. And occasionally, the cubs would be taken to accredited facilities out of province.
Three cubs found in a Banff National Park outhouse wound up in Ontario a year ago.
All of it sparking despair among animal lovers.
That’s what makes this little bear so special.
It’s now being cared for at the Cochrane Ecological Institute.
“With tremendous gratitude we thank the staff at Alberta Environment and Parks for saving this life! We welcome Charlie, named after our dear late friend Charlie Russell,” the institute said, referring to the renowned bear expert who died recently.
The change in policy was quickly applauded.
And for this particular bear, well-wishes quickly started coming in.
One thing is certain, we’re going to need more photos.
Main photo Alberta Environment/Twitter