Orphaned cubs rescued

Conservation officers are hoping to catch a bear cub that was one of three that escaped injury after their mother was hit by a vehicle on the Sunshine Coast.

The Conservation Officer Service was notified of the accident on Highway 101 on Saturday, near Halfmoon Bay.

The caller remained on the scene with the sow, said conservation officer Dean Miller, and had to herd the three cubs out of harm’s way several times before COS and RCMP arrived.

Miller said the sow was too badly injured to be saved and was destroyed at the scene, but conservation officers were able to tranquilize two of the cubs. The third had climbed too high into a nearby tree.

The COS has set a live trap at the base of the tree, and will continue to monitor the area for the next week.

Miller said the cubs are considered good candidates for wildlife rehab because there’s no evidence they’ve become habituated to humans or food conditioned. They’ve been sent to Critter Care Wildlife in Langley, where they’ll stay until they reach the age that their mother would normally send them out on their own.

An examination of the sow’s body found it to be seriously underweight for this time of year. Miller said conservation officers have linked the recent dry weather to the poor wild berry crop and the higher than normal bear conflicts this year. The bear’s condition, he said, would have eventually led her to populated areas to access domestic fruit trees or garbage for food.

Miller said the cubs were also underweight.

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