Still a mystery how the 3 cubs got trapped in the outhouse
By Tricia Lo, CBC News
Three baby bears found trapped in a Banff washroom are packing on the pounds and adjusting well in their temporary Ontario home, says one of the people overseeing their rehabilitation.
The cubs have roughly tripled in weight from six to 18 kilograms since their April arrival at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, north of Toronto.
Sara Locke, who's worked with the bears from the beginning, says they spend their days eating fruit, digging for peanuts and playing in their enclosure pool.
"They're just loving swimming," Locke said. "I can hardly keep up with dry straw in their enclosure, because they just run around soaking all the time.
"They're doing really well."
The cubs were roughly three months old when were discovered by a motorist who stopped to use a public bathroom while travelling along the Trans-Canada Highway on April 1.
Minimizing bear-human contactLocke said her organization communicates closely with Parks Canada about the bears' status. Parks Canada has even been sending plants that are native to Alberta so the bears can eat them.
"The hope is that the plants from [Banff] that are being flown in, they'll recognize them when they get back to [Banff] as that being their food source," Locke said.
Because the plan is to reintroduce the bears to Banff National Park next spring, staff and volunteers have taken extra care to minimize their interactions with the cubs so that they do not become habituated to human contact.
"When we were handling them when they were younger, we would wear a poncho that smelled like one of our other bears," Locke said.
Staff and volunteers see the bears just twice a day to give them food and clean their enclosure, and they're always careful to wear a mask when around the cubs, Locke said.
Upsizing their living quartersThe three bears will move to a new outdoor enclosure by the end of the month, which is larger than their current living space and has trees for the cubs to climb.
The plan is for them to spend the winter there in hibernation, before they're driven back to Banff.
The bears had to be temporarily transported out of province because Alberta effectively outlawed the rehabilitation of bears about six years ago, citing concerns over public safety and how the animals fare in the wild once they've become habituated to humans.
Alberta wildlife refuges are forbidden from taking bears and releasing them back into the wild without special permission from the provincial government.
Over the past month, Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary has admitted 6 bears for to our facility for care. Bears have been getting injured on roadways while they are seeking food.
This summer was very dry and food for the bears this year is scarce. This means bears are travelling more than usual in search of food to help them get through the winter.
Please be conscious of putting away any food sources that bears may be interested in and keep your barbecues and other attractants clean.
Thank you to CTV Barrie for coming out and helping us spread the word!
Watch the CTV Barrie post here
“Muskoka’s shimmering blue waters, it’s majestic green pines, it’s spectacular scenery all await your discovery aboard the Sunset Cruises’ Peerless II. A whole new discovery.”- Sunset Cruises
July 29th from 3:30-5:30 pm we will be touring Lake Rosseau aboard one of the historic Sunset Cruise ships. Live commentary aboard the boat will share the history of famous lake Rosseau as well as that of the Peerless II ship.
Boarding will begin at 3:15 at the dock in Rosseau – so please arrive early. Tickets are $80.00. There will be hors d’oeuvres served aboard the ship, a cash bar, and a silent auction.
All proceeds go to help support the care of Muskoka’s orphaned and injured wildlife at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rosseau Ontario.
*A tax-recept will be issued for the value of $40.00 on all tickets sold.
Tickets can be purchased by calling our office at: 705-732-6368
Our summer students Amanda and Sarah will also be at the Huntsville Place Mall this weekend for the cottage show. Please stop in to say hello! They will be there Friday (July 15th) and Saturday (July 16th). They’ll be selling merchandise, booking tours, selling tickets for our upcoming cruise, have a game with prizes for children, and will be accepting donations of linens and monetary donations for the animals being cared for here at the Sanctuary!
Before baby season starts there is a lot to do at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. In addition to preparing the cages and ordering the much-needed baby supplies Aspen Valley, our Managing Director and Animal Care Director travelled all the way to the NWRA Conference for some valuable continuing education. Before their departure, there was a lot of activity here at the sanctuary!
Students building squirrel boxes
At the very beginning of the month we were one of the proud recipients of the famous squirrel boxes constructed by the elementary school students at Rama Central Public School in Washago. You can see their wildlife boxes being costructed below:
CTV Barrie: Helping Orphaned Animals
The first weekend of March included the rescue of an adult deer who had fallen through the ice. Thanks to the relatively stress-free rescue and some much needed medical care from our veterinarian, staff, and volunteers the deer was able to recover and return to the wild after a short stay at the sanctuary. The deer could not wait to return to the wild and hopefully will have learned that the ice can be dangerous at this time of year!
CTV Barrie came back in the second week of March to tour Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and share with their viewers the work that is being done here. This was part of their coverage of the work that a few wildlife rehab sanctuaries in the region do to help our native wildlife species. Also included in this series is the work done by Dr. Sheri Cox, the wildlife veterinarian who provides much of the veterinary care to our wildlife patients at the sanctuary.
You can watch these videos below:
CTV Barrie: Touring Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
CTV Barrie: A Look at Animal Rehab Centres Across the Region
The month is only half over and there is still much to do here at the sanctuary. Our Directors have since returned with much inspiration from their conference and we are all looking forward to busy season at the sanctuary.
If you’d like to donate to help us continue to provide excellent wildlife rescue and rehabilitation to injured and orphaned wildlife, you can do so by clicking HERE.
As always, thank you for your continued support!
These are the five orphaned beavers we had come in last year (2011). They love to play and wrestle and generally are very active. They are due for release this spring (2012)!
Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary:
1116 Crawford Street
All Tours are by Appointment Only