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Orphaned Black Bear Cubs?

This past week, we’ve received four separate calls about young black bear cubs that they believe may be orphaned.  Was the mother killed or is she further in the bush?  Hard to tell but what should you  do?

These callers were from rural Manitoba where they observed the bears eating acorns and berries.  Each bear ran away when they saw a human. The first question asked to PWRC is whether or not we could come and relocate or rehabilitate these animals?  Unfortunately,  we cannot help with either option due to permits and unable to handle animals this large. However,  I would strongly recommend not doing anything at all. If these cubs were truly orphaned, and it is the fall season, the best place for them is in their “birth territory”  or home range where they already have a den, know the area like the back of their paws, and can locate a food supply.  Relocating somewhere else, the chances of survival would be zero. First they wouldn’t know the dangers in the new setting. Nor would they have an empty den to sleep the winter or know where the new food would be. Yes, it can be exciting or terrifying to see a bear cub in your backyard but if the little guy is not causing any harm to you or your family- LEAVE HIM ALONE.   Take a picture to remember the wonderful experience but do not encourage the bear to come closer to the house or  start leaving food out for it to “help” it through this tough season.  If you do have a serious problem with bears, contact your local Manitoba Conservation office for further action.

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