Cochrane wildlife conservation centre takes in injured black bear cub
A bear cub that was hit by a vehicle on a highway near Grand Cache is recovering at the Cochrane Ecological Institute and is the second cub to be rehabilitated at the facility since the province enacted a policy to allow animal rehab centres to provide care.
The cub, named Maskwa, was with its mother and two siblings when the incident happened and was rescued by Brandy Gienger, who drove it to the Cochrane facility.
The CEI believes the cub sustained a concussion and says Maskwa was unable to hold her head up when she first arrived at the centre.
The cub was assessed by vets at the Arrowhead Veterinary Clinic in Cochrane and was initially quarantined in a small enclosure while she was treated.
Officials say Maskwa has responded positively to her rehabilitation and she has since been moved to a larger pen where she can climb on logs to improve her strength and balance.
In May, the facility also took in a cinnamon-coloured bear, named Charlie, after he was found wandering around a campground near Coleman.
Charlie was the first bear cub in Alberta to be transferred into the care of a wildlife rehabilitation centre since a protocol was put in place by Alberta Environment and Parks on April 18 to allow wildlife facilities to accept care of an orphaned or abandoned bear if the animal is less than a year old.
The CEI says Charlie is doing well and he has been moved to a temporary, outdoor pen to continue his rehabilitation.
The two cubs will eventually be introduced to each other and the outdoor area will soon be opened up to include a larger enclosure that has trees and a pond.
Both bears are being fed a diet of oat flax whole wheat with wild cat hills honey as well as natural food sources.
The CEI is looking for native berry shrubs that can be added to the enclosure before the pair occupy it and is asking anyone with Saskatooon berry or Canada buffalo berry schrubs to contact Lisa by email at Biodiversity4u@gmail.com.
A documentary about Charlie’s story is in the works and the public can vote on ‘Charlie – Return to the Wild’ from July 30 to August 2 to help the film’s creator, Xavier Cattarinich, secure funding for his project.
For more information on the Cochrane Ecological Institute, click HERE.