Several bears at Errington refuge nearing release

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
June 8, 2018 - 5:11pm

James is one of eight bears in pre-release at the NIWRC.North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

PARKSVILLE — A handful of Vancouver Island black bears are about to get new leases on life, thanks to the Errington based North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre (NIWRC).

Tawny Molland, animal care supervisor at the facility, told NanaimoNewsNOW the bears are slated to be released back into the woods between mid-July and October.

“It gives you that full circle feeling, these injured or orphaned bears come in, you care for them, raise them and now you're letting them go back into the wild.”

She said a wildlife veterinarian with the Environment ministry will decide if in fact the bears are well enough to be released and conservation officers will pick the locations.

Video courtesey of the NIWRC

Molland said it's important to restrict all human contact while in care because that's what got most bears they see in trouble in the first place.

“We only feed through food hatches, they don't actually see the animal care staff,” Molland said. “We feed them lots of fruit and fish, those sorts of things.”

The public can view the bears at the recovery centre through a television monitor.

Molland said it's critical for people to not leave food attractants out for bears, which she said can seal their fate.

“A fed bear is a dead bear," Molland said.

The NIWRC cared for 500 animals last year.

 

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