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Action Needed: Trio of Orphan Grizzly Cubs in Calgary Need The Public’s Help!

Three grizzly cubs at Calgary Zoo because their Mother acted defensively with a hunter! May 2020 Link to article in Calgary Herald

Spring is a time of hope and celebration of new life. A grizzly bear family just emerged from hibernation and ventured into their new world, full of wonder. Three little cubs were about to learn how to live and explore. Always close to their Mom who offered them love and protection.

In just a split second, the lives of three cubs have changed forever. Snatched from the world full of love and warmth, they were thrown into the world built on detachment and violence – the world saturated with delusions, fear and myths. This is the world where wilderness is treated as an enemy, and the sense of wonder – all of us are born with – is being treated as not worth considering. Spirituality is labelled as sentimental, emotions as ‘irrational’.

From the very moment the grizzly family crossed into this world, they entered the path of no return. From this very moment, violence squashed love. First, bullets of a hunter, claiming ‘self-defence’, took their mother away And then, under the guise of ‘empathy’, they were ripped out of their native forest and placed in the world governed by the reductionist view of nature. It is where living beings are forced to give up their independence and individuality as they turn into commodities, properties, and resources.

We are told that since Alberta has a ban on rehabilitating orphaned grizzly bears, the three cubs would’ve been killed if the Calgary Zoo didn’t take them. Yes, but do we need to accept such a cruel binary choice? Why does it have to be a bullet or a cage?

Still, as we learn, this is not even the final place for the orphaned bears in their ordeal of constant trading and changing hands. Now, it is the Greater Vancouver Zoo that hopes to cage them and show them around. And this transaction comes with a cheerful promise. The zoo is expanding and “is working on new behavioural enrichment practices that offer much-needed stimulation over certain periods of the day, including the ways the animals find their food.” But what is the purpose of learning how to find food in an artificial environment? Will caged animals die if they don’t find it? No, they won’t, because it’s just a game. The commodification process and the return of investment have to continue, regardless.

When we take a wild animal from the wild and lock him in a cage, he ceases to be a wild animal. What such a creature becomes is hard to define, as he lingers permanently in the vogue realm of existence of neither being a pet nor wild. Even with our best intention, we rip something fundamental from the soul of a wild animal when we force him to abandon the borderless forest. What is worse, such an act robs both the animal and the forest. As we know, living beings are not stand-alone entities but creatures inalienably embodied into dynamic processes of broader natural surroundings.

I would hope that pandemics and lockdown have taught us something. It has made us more humble, more compassionate. If anything, it has shown us the anguish of forced isolation. Why would we wish it on anybody else? And yet, with respect to wildlife, the stubborn adherence to arbitrary, self-imposed rules and regulations continues unabated. It’s still a bullet or a zoo, as the fate of the orphaned cubs is being ironed out against the background of the artificial boundary between Alberta and British Columbia.

It does not have to be like this. Policies can be changed; hearts can be opened. The cubs will have a chance to eventually re-enter wilderness if they are released to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society facility in Smithers B.C. The NLWS is ready to take them. There, they can be rehabilitated and, one day, returned to the forest to go on exploring the only world that is truly theirs.

Today is Mother’s Day. The three orphaned bears are on their own, terrified, traumatized. We stole their mother. Can we give them their lives back?

Please write to our government officials in British Columbia and Alberta and ask for the orphaned cubs to be released to rehab in Smithers. We owe them this.
by Dr. Gosia Bryja of British Columbia

more info links:

In British Columbia

Dr. Helen Schwantje, Wildlife Veterinarian for the B.C. Ministry of Forests.
at [email protected]

Doug Donaldson, Minister of FLNRO
[email protected]

George Heyman, Minister of Environment
[email protected]

Jennifer Psyllakis, Director of Wildlife and Habitat
[email protected]

Garth Mowat, Large Carnivore Specialist
[email protected]

Adam Olsen, Green MLA
[email protected]

In Alberta

Paul Frame, Alberta’s Provincial Carnivore Specialist
[email protected],

  1. Travis Ripley, Executive Director of Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch
    [email protected],

Matt Besko. Director of Wildlife, Policy Division, Environment and Parks
[email protected],

Bev Yee, Deputy Minister
[email protected]

Ronda Goulden, Assistant Deputy Minister
[email protected]

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks
[email protected],

Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta
[email protected]

Link to the news

3 thoughts on “Action Needed: Trio of Orphan Grizzly Cubs in Calgary Need The Public’s Help!”

  1. Please allow Northern Lights Wildlife Society to rehab the three Grizzly Cubs so they can be returned to the wild where they belong. Committing them to a lifetime of confinement would be endless torture for them. Studies show that rehabbed bears do not become problem bears. Alberta could be a leader in conservation of wildlife by taking affirmative action to conserve species at risk. Allowing the Cubs to be rehabbed and returned to the wild could be a first step in this conservation.

  2. You protect the Hunter who says in self defense but you sentence the innocent to a life in jail. When will you honour the life taken and the lives that live?

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