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Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter Spring Newsletter 2014 via Bears Matter

Black Bears Need Our Help More Then Ever



 See Photos and Spring Newsletter 2014:’14.pdf


Wild babies are an NLWS specialty. Wild mammas, on the other hand, are not a common sight. Imagine our surprise with Prince George conservations officers asked us if we would consider providing a temporary home for three tiny black bear cubs AND their mother. It only took a split second for us to agree and make plans for this very special bear family. While CO’s worked hard to tranquilize the 275lb bear and retrieve her cubs from the den, volunteers made the 4 hour drive to Prince George to transport the family. Once safely back at NLWS, the bears were individual-ly examined to ensure that mamma had not been in-jured in her ordeal and that the cubs were is good health. After getting the green light, the family was reunited in a specially designed bear den. The hope is that the family will sleep another two months until the natural food in their home range has sprouted and the family can be released together. For now, the family has made the den a comfortable home and many happy cubbie noises tell shelter volunteers that the family is doing well.

3rd Annual Virtual Baby Shower Keeping It “In the Family”

It is that time of year again; we are getting ready for the new arrivals that will all too soon arrive on our door-steps. Our Third Annual Virtual Ba-by Shower will take place on April 5th and 12th on our Facebook Page “Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter” and we hope you can join us. This will be two fun filled days with vide-os, games and prizes.

For those of you that are not Facebook Fans we have a special mail event. For every $25 donated between now and April 30thyour name will be entered into a special draw with a number of very special prizes. You can enter as many times as you like and feel free to join both mail and Facebook fundraisers. We greatly appreciate your support as we fundraise for milk replacers, new baby bottles and heating blankets. The biggest expense is of course the rescues and the involved costs for ever rising gas prices as well as re-pair and maintenance for our aging vehicle.

17366 Telkwa High Rd Smithers BC V0J 2N7 Canada, Phone: 250-847-5101 E-mail: [email protected] 

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Very Special Guest:Though many of you probably heard about Tinsel’s arrival at NLWS on December 24th after moving in with some chickens near the US border, we would like to update you on what has happened since then. Tinsel turned out to be a girl and her story made her famous way beyond the borders of BC. As the days turned into weeks, we heard from people in various provinces that their media had picked up the story as well. Then we got reports from a number of US states and a call from CNN. They aired her story nation wide and prompted other interna-tional interest, including a call all the way from Holland. It was really incredible and it is safe to say that Tinsel is our most famous bear cub ever. She is doing extremely well and is now living with 4 other cubs. They are starting to come out and play on sunny days, after being fairly inactive throughout the colder months. She and her friends will be released in June 2014.

Winter Wonders “Tinsel” a Black Bear cub rescued on December 24, 2014 Hibernation at NLWS:

Each year some of our cubs will gain enough weight before winter and settle down for hibernation. Several factors influence a bear to seek hibernation. First and foremost, it is a drop in temperatures and the rising difficulty to find adequate food to eat. However, if the bear is under-weight it will continue to look for food as it instinctively knows that its body does not have enough resources to survive hibernation. If the bear has enough body weight, temperatures drop and feed becomes scares it will look for a den to protect it while sleeping.

At NLWS we reduce feeding with the arrival of colder temperatures to mimic nature. The cubs get a choice of boxes and lots of straw, leaves and branches to furnish their beds. Black bears are true hibernators, and sleep for several months only taking in some snow to prevent dehydration. Black bears will only wake up if disturbed or when they are starving. This year we have 5 cubs that are sleeping and 5 cubs that we fed throughout the winter.

Moose Visits: Each year former patients of NLWS return for visits. This year we were thrilled to see Nikki (2008) and her calf.

Bully (2011) also dropped by several times

Owl Rescues: Although birds are a rare guest at NLWS, winter always brings in a few needy feathered friends. Owls in particular are quickly effected by the changing winter weather and snow conditions. Above is one of this year’s guests, a tiny Pygmy Owl rescued in Fraser Lake after being found alongside Highway 16. His recovery is going well and a release is planned as soon as weather conditions permit.

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