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URGENT ACTION NEEDED! Against Captivity for 3 Grizzly Cubs at the Calgary Zoo

We need your help to Save 3 Orphaned Grizzly Cubs from a Life in Captivity! 

Scroll below the photos to find the phone numbers to call and a sample letter with the email addresses to send to. It’s time sensitive, please do it now. We are Against Captivity for 3 Grizzly Cubs at the Calgary Zoo.

Read our “Open Letter by 104 Signatories-Need Reprieve For Three Grizzly Cubs at Calgary Zoo” at the bottom of the page

Against Imprisoning 3 Grizzly Cubs at the Calgary Zoo


Photo of wild orphaned Grizzly cubs at the Calgary zoo. Their fate is unknown but most likely  they are awaiting  to be shipped to other zoos. Why are they not even being considered for rehab.  Let your opinion against captivity for the 3 Grizzly cubs at the Calgary Zoo be heard.

Phone Calls & Letters Against Captivity for 3 Orphaned Grizzly Cubs being held at the Calgary Zoo

If you can call Or Write this is the info:

Call These Offices! Let’s drive them WILD! 
Ask authorities to Save theSe three Cubs from an inhumane and unfair life in captivity & also to ReStart The Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan for ’Threatened Species’.  
1. Minister Nixon – 1-780-427-2391, 2. Matt Besko  1-780-427-7769, 3. Travis Ripley 1-780-427-7763 , 4. Paul Frame, 1-780-422-8411  5. Premier Kenny, 1-780-427-2251 AB # Outside AB Call 1-780-427-2711  Call The Calgary Zoo at 1800-588-9993 or 1-403-232-9300 leave a message if possible ( we may have a direct line soon-ck back)! You can email the Zoo at [email protected] and also leave your message.  These are the main points to highlight in phone calls and letters:

  • Alberta Government needs to rescind the Calgary Zoo permit for the 3 cubs. A captive life in a zoo is especially traumatizing for large sentient mammals like bears. Psychological disorders more often than not occur.
  • Alberta and BC must work together to transfer these three orphaned grizzlies to the Rehabilitation centre in Smithers, BC.
  • After the cubs are ready to be released back to the wild they would be brought back to Alberta to give them a second chance at the wild life they deserve
  • Alberta Government needs to revamp the Grizzly Bear Recovering Draft to re-establish a viable population.
  • In the near future the Alberta Government needs to consider licencing a bear rehabilitation centre for Grizzly Bears

If you prefer to write a letter via email, here is more info:

  • you can cut and paste the letter below
  • if you can, please add your sentiments and/or edit the letter to better reflect your opinion
  • E-mail addresses to copy & paste are below
  • Also copy your letter to the newspaper emails/links below
  • time is running out, it needs to go out… yesterday!

Sample letter starts below. Please remember to sign it!

Dear Honourable Jason Nixon,

In regards to the 3 orphan grizzly bear cubs that were rescued by your ministry a few weeks ago, I am very concerned that they have been ordered to be taken to the Calgary Zoo rather than being taken into the grizzly bear rehabilitation program in Smithers, B.C., which, by the way, it has a high rate of success.

It is not right that these are 3 healthy cubs born in the wild, are sitting in the Calgary Zoo. Some of us are concerned that they will remained caged in Calgary or, even worse, sold to other Zoos, and destined to a life of misery in a cage. We are Against Imprisoning 3 Grizzly Cubs at the Calgary Zoo or any otehr zoo.

In this time and age we have to be forward thinkers. What it’s happening to Aquariums and the restrictions in keeping large mammals in small tanks is a wake up call. Zoos are already been scrutinized for the same unfair treatment of animals and will soon be forbidden to hold wild animals in restricted spaces.

Please release them to the bear rehabilitation program in Smithers. Once the cubs are rehabilitated and ready for release in Alberta your ministry could use that opportunity to announce a revamped grizzly bear recovery plan in earnest.

This would give proud Albertans a renewed sense of hope for their wildlife in these challenging times. A second chance for the cubs to be wild is all anyone is asking for and an added bonus is that there is no financial commitment on your part. All money used in the bear rehabilitation process is sourced privately from beginning to end.

This is an opportunity for all of you to look like heroes and to be intentionally concerned with the well being of your province wild life.

When the 3 cubs will be ready to be released back to the Alberta wild, you can have a lot of media in attendance, announce the positive results, make a big deal about it, show what kind of leader you are. You can have posts and social media advertise throughout the cubs rehabilitation time

This is the perfect opportunity to do the right thing. It doesn’t happen often to have the opportunity to look great AND do the right thing. Take it!


End of sample letter if you are against imprisoning 3 Grizzly Cubs at the Calgary Zoo – pls remember to sign the letter

Cut and copy the addresses below and send the email asap-time is running out for these cubs! 

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];

Read our letter, signed by well informed and scientifically qualified and amazing people involved in every aspect of conservation.

Open Letter to Decision-Makers to Orphaned Grizzly Cubs and Future of Alberta Grizzly Population! 

Honourable Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

RE: Open Letter: Rehabilitated grizzly cubs can boost Alberta grizzly bear recovery

We, the 73 (104)signatories of this letter, are deeply concerned about the three orphaned grizzly cubs in the Calgary Zoo, as well as Alberta’s grizzly bear population.

We would like to thank Alberta Fish and Wildlife for rescuing the three cubs and for the care that the Calgary Zoo has provided them.

Our group respectfully requests that Alberta Fish and Wildlife consider rehabilitating and releasing these cubs into the Alberta wilderness to boost the province’s grizzly bear population rather than condemning these bears to long-term captive care.

Many Albertans fully support this approach, given that grizzly bears are a threatened species in Alberta and rehabilitation and release into the wild is the most humane solution. Science shows that wild animals suffer immeasurably in captivity. The Calgary Zoo was one of the first zoos to treat polar bears with Prozac to mitigate the psychological trauma of captivity and the development of disorders.

The age and health of these three cubs make them ideal candidates for the only grizzly cub rehabilitation program in North America, namely the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter in Smithers, B.C. Since its inception in 2007, this shelter has raised and released twenty-five grizzly cubs without serious incident.

Once successfully reared and capable of surviving in the wild on their own, the cubs would be released back into an appropriate area with as little human development as possible.

Our group believes that rehabilitating these three orphaned cubs is a critical first step to revamping Alberta’s commitment to grizzly bear conservation and recovery. Since 2013, when the last recovery plan expired, Alberta has been without a recovery plan to guide these efforts. It is time to revisit the 2016 draft plan and update it with the best-available science to improve habitat security and reduce human-caused mortality. This recent incident is a stark reminder of how quickly and tragically healthy grizzlies can disappear from the landscape.

While some grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 American states have increased dramatically, Alberta’s population has seen no significant increase since the species was designated as threatened in 2010.

As part of the grizzly bear recovery plan update, we urge the Alberta government to consider licensing one or more of the Alberta bear rehabilitation facilities for grizzly bear rehabilitation.

Thank you for putting the welfare of the cubs and Alberta’s grizzly bear population first. We look forward to a timely response to our requests.


Undersigned – 104 Multiple signatories and growing

Signatories May 2020/ June 2020

  1. Amarin Dawn, Experience Journeys, AB
  2. Anouk Kendall, President Decentralised Energy,AB
  3. Dr. Anthony P. Clevenger, WTI-Montana State
  4. Barbara Bertch, former Canadian National Park, AB
  5. Ben Gadd, BASc. Rockies Naturalist/Writer, AB
  6. Carol and Peter Tracey, Wildlife Conservationists, AB
  7. Christyann Olson, Exec Director Alberta Wilderness Association, AB
  8.  Dr. Corinne Chapman, DVM, AB
  9. Dave Klepacki, PhD Essential Earth MentoringAB
  10. Dr. David Swann, former Leader of the Alberta Green Party, AB
  11. Don Mickle, Former Canadian Naational Park Warden, AB
  12. Francis First Charger, Ninnaisipistoo-Owl Chief, AB
  13. Dr. Geoff Holroyd, Retired Researcher Environment Canada, AB
  14. Dr. Ian Urquhart, Prof Emeritus, U of A, AB
  15. Jill Seaton, Naturalist, AB
  16. Jim Murphy, former Canadian National Park Warden, AB
  17. Jim Pissot, former Director of Defenders of Wildlife, AB
  18. Joe Urie, Member of the Metis Nation of Alberta, Jasper Tour Co., AB
  19. John E. Marriott, Co-Founder, Exposed Wildlife Conservancy/ILCP, AB
  20. Karin Nelson, Wildlife Rehabilitation Advocate, AB
  21. Kevin Van Tighem, Biologist/Author, AB
  22. Leeanne Willoughby, Wildlife Conservationist, AB
  23. Dr. Leroy LIttlebear, UofLeth, Nitsitapi Scholar, Blood Tribe of Alberta
  24.  Lisa Dahlseide, Conservation Biologist, AB
  25. Mary-Ann Holm, Concerned Albertans for Animal Welfare& Public Safety, AB,
  26. Maureen Enns, Artist/Author, AB
  27. Dr. Paul Paquet, Intl Carnivore Authority, Adjunct Prof U of C, AB
  28. Peter Duck, President Bow Valley Naturalists, AB
  29. Reg Bunyan, former Canadian National Park Warden, AB
  30. Reno Sommerhalder, Grizzly Specialist, AB
  31. Rick Kunelius, former Banff Canadian National Park Warden, AB
  32. Silvia Soto, Wildlife Advocate, AB
  33. Stephen Legault, Writer/Conservationist, AB
  34. Sid Marty, Author, AB
  35. Trevor Miller, Animal Alliance of Canada, AB
  36. Tove Reece, Voices for Animals Society, AB
  37. Dr. Peter Neuhaus, Adjunct Prof, U of C, Dept of Biological Sciences
  38. Amber Peters, Biologist in Training, B.C.
  39. Anne Sherrod, Valhalla Wilderness Society ,BC
  40. Barbara Murray, Bears Matter Consulting, BC
  41. Dr. Bryce Casavant, Former BC Conserv Officer, BC
  42. Charlotte Dawe, Wilderness Committee, BC
  43. Christine Miller, North Shore Black Bear Society, BC
  44. Ellie Lamb, Grizzly Bear Guide-Artist, BC
  45. Eric and Trish Boyum, Ocean Adventures Charter Ltd., BC
  46. Evelyn Kirkaldy, Wildlife Technician, BC
  47. Gary and Ronda Murdock, Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours, BC
  48. Dr. Gosia Bryja, Environmental Scientist, BC
  49. Ian McAllister, Exec Director Pacific Wild, Filmmaker, Photographer, Author, BC
  50.  Jefferson Bray, Great Bear Chalet, BC
  51. Jim Lawrence, Friends of the Lardeau River, BC
  52. Kelly Carson, DeerSafe, BC
  53. Kirsten Rose, Wolf Matters, BC
  54. Maggie Paquet, Biologist, BC
  55. Margaret McCullough, Surfrider, BC
  56. Ron Jakimchuk, Founder RD Jakimchuk Wildlife Heritage, BC
  57. Sadie Parr, Wolf Awareness Inc. BC
  58. Sylvia Dolson, Get Bear Smart, BC
  59. Tommy Knowles, Exec Dir, Wildlife Defence League, BC
  60. Tony and Michelle Joyce, Conservationists/Wildlife Photographers, BC
  61. Val Murray, Justice for BC Grizzlies, BC
  62. Wayne P. McCrory, RBio.Bear Biologist, McCrory Wildlife Services Ltd.,
  63. Wendy Chambers, Wildlife Conservationist, BC
  64. Dr. Barrie Gilbert, Retired Wildlife Professor/Author
  65. Dr. Gay Bradshaw, Kerulos Centre of Non-Violence
  66. Jeff Gailus, Conservationist/Author, Mt
  67. Joe Duff, Wild Aid Canada Society
  68. Dr. John Beecham, International Bear Rehabilitation Specialist
  69.  Jordon Reichert, Animal Alliance of Canada
  70.  Judy Malone, Tourists Against Trophy Hunting, Canada
  71.  Julie Woodyer, Zoocheck Canada
  72. Lesley Fox, The Furbearers Canada
  73. Dr. Sian Waters, IUNC Dept of Anthro, Durham Univ, UK.
  74. Caroline Dahlen, DVM, AB
  75. Bill Marshall, former Chief Park Ranger, Kananaskis Country, AB
  76. Dr. Stephen Herrero, Prof Emeritus, Environmental Science, U of C, AB
  77. Baden Cross, Applied Conservation GIS, BC
  78. Mike & Ella McIntosh, Bear With Us Centre for Bears, Ont
  79. Camille Labchuk, Exec Director Animal Justice Canada
  80. Dr. Lance Craighead, Craighead Institute, Montana, US
  81. Dr. Judith Samson-French, DVM, AB
  82. Wendy Anderson, Animal Advocate, AB
  83. Chris Morgan, MS, Conservationist, Filmmaker, Podcaster, US
  84. Monica Magnetti, Marketing and Communications, Luna Coaching
  85. Dr. Stephen Stringham, Dir of Bear Comm & Coexistence, AK
  86. Colleen Gara, Conservationist, Photographer, AB
  87. Rebeka Breder, Animal Law Lawyer, BC
  88. Lydia Koot, Chair Black Bear Committee, Hope, BC
  89. Paul Nicklen, Co-founder SeaLegacy, Photographer, Filmmaker, Marine Biologist, BC
  90. Cristina Mittermeier, Co-founder SeaLegacy, Photographer, Biologist, Author, BC   
  91. Peter Dettling, Wildlife Photographer & Author AB
  92. Brian Keating, biologist, broadcaster, co- producer of  AB
  93. Peter J. Poole, Leaseholder, The Juniper Hotel, Banff
  94. Lesley Sampson, Founding Exec Dir. Coyote Watch Canada
  95. Jo Ellen Cushing, Wildlife Rehabilitator, International School for Earth Studies, QB
  96. Dr. Benjamin Kilham, Bear Rehabilitator, Author, The Kilham Bear Center, New Hampshire, USA
  97. Robert Hughes, Author, Wildlife Advocate
  98. Cyndi Smith, retired Canadian National Park Biologist and Park Warden
  99. Dr. David Mattson, Retired Wildlife Research Biologist, MT
  100. Louisa Willcox, Bear Advocate, Co-Founder, Grizzly Times, MT.
  101. Alex Mowat, Bear-viewing guide, AB
  102. Melodey Wood, Bear Advocate, Waterton, AB
  103. Dr. Jonaki Bhattacharyya, Dept of Applied Conservation Science, U Victoria, BC
  104. Helen Davis, Artemis Wildlife Consultants, BC

Media Articles & Clips as a result of Open Letter to Alberta to Honourable Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks on May 20, 2020 against imprisoning 3 Grizzly Cubs at the Calgary Zoo

Orphaned grizzly cubs at Calgary Zoo should be groomed for wilderness: conservationists

Send orphaned grizzly cubs back into wild, 73 bear advocates tell province in open letter

Group Urges Rehab for the Three Grizzly Cubs Adopted by Calgary Zoo

Rehabilitate 3 grizzly bear cubs, scientists urge Alberta government

Articles after Press Release of May 28, 2020

Scientists call on Alberta government to lift ban on rehabilitating orphaned grizzly bear cubs

“These three cubs are not being saved by being in a zoo. This is not a happy ending for wild animals. This is condemning these bears to a life in captivity where they do not belong.”

bears matter

Details of the email addresses:                                                                                                              Paul Frame, Alberta’s Provincial Carnivore Specialist:                                    [email protected]

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]
Premier Jason Kenney:
Premier of Alberta [email protected]
Rachel Notley, NDP:
[email protected]
Marlin Schmidt:
[email protected]
Jordan Wilkie:
[email protected]
Dr. Helen Schwantje, Wildlife Veterinarian for BC:
[email protected]
George Heyman, Minister of Environment:
[email protected]                                                                                                                  Minister Doug Donaldson: [email protected]
Jennifer Psyllakis, Director of Wildlife and Habitat:
[email protected]
Garth Mowat, Large Carnivore Specialist:
[email protected]
Adam Olsen, Green MLA:
[email protected],
Premier John Horgan:
[email protected]

Background info on Three Orphaned Grizzly Cubs Crowsnest Pass:

Bear Rehabilitation Info
Alberta Grizzly Recovery Plan and and

19 thoughts on “URGENT ACTION NEEDED! Against Captivity for 3 Grizzly Cubs at the Calgary Zoo”

  1. First off, hunting Grizzlies in spring , killing sows leaving orphaned cubs, needs to STOP! Secondly, all cubs need to be rehabilitated not incarcerated in zoos. We are past the era if “dancing bears”. As a citizen of Canada I implore the authorities to send these 3-cubs to a bona fide rehab center such as Northern Lights and, more importantly pay all costs including salaries, upkeep etc needed to run a centre. In addition provide all transport for delivery and subsequent release.

  2. Please be forward thinking in saving our wildlife. Do NOT go backwards. Give the bear a chance at rehab.
    Not a zoo.

  3. These bears deserve to have a chance in the wild. I understand if they can’t be in the wild then perhaps a zoo is necessary, but not 3 healthy cubs.

  4. Reevaluate what you’re doing.
    Rehabilitate the bears & return them to their wild natural habitat. A zoo life is no life for a grizzly. Do better. Rehabilitate & release.

  5. Uttara Sirdeshpande

    Thank you, Bears Matter. Letters sent to all the authorities and email addresses listed.

    I wonder what the Alberta government’s plan for the the group of hunters is? Are they also going to be imprisoned at the Calgary Zoo? Nobody is talking about that. All that we are seeing in the news is that it was “an act of self-defence” (by the hunters). The act occurred in the first place ***ONLY*** because those people went hunting, that too in spring when baby animals don’t stand a chance in the wild without their mothers. These poor cubs would’ve never been orphaned if not for the hunters. So how is it that the ministry of “justice” lets them get off scot-free and these innocent baby bears get punished for absolutely no fault of theirs? Shame on Alberta. The only thing they care about us is their oil.

  6. Being humanely responsible means that allowing these three infant grizzlies to experience a life that is close to their habitat as possible.
    Do the right thing and rehabilitate them back into their natural habitats.

  7. Dear Honourable Jason Nixon,

    In regards to the 3 orphan grizzly bear cubs that were rescued by your ministry a few weeks ago, I am very concerned that they have been ordered to be taken to the Calgary Zoo rather than being taken into the grizzly bear rehabilitation program in Smithers, B.C., which, by the way, it has a high rate of success.
    Please do the right thing, release these 3 cubs. Show them respect and let them have the chance to live free and wild.

  8. Please do not lock them up for the rest of their lives. They need to live their lives in freedom as they were meant to do..

  9. Do not leave these cubs at the Calgary zoo or any other zoo. They need to be rehabilitated and then released.
    Please do the right thing.

  10. Rehabilitate these three cubs they deserve a chance of life in their own environment once ready to leave the rehabilitation centre, zoos are no more than a prison sentence for the rest of their lives .have compassion for the bears …thankyou

  11. These cubs belong in the wild not in a zoo to be exploited for money. Don’t we have enough animals in captivaty? I still don’t understand why zoo’s are even allowed to bred animals in captivaty if they are not releasing them back into the wild. Zoo’s are not for education they are there to make r money. They are the animal abusers.

  12. Pingback: Concerned over grizzly hunting - Bears Matter

  13. Uttara Sirdeshpande

    Just received the following email from the office of Doug Donaldson, FLNR Minister, BC. Extremely disappointing!

    June 26, 2020


    Thank you for your correspondence regarding the orphaned grizzly bear cubs from Alberta, under temporary care at the Calgary Zoo. As this topic falls under the purview of the Resource Stewardship Division, I have been asked to respond.

    The process of rearing orphaned wild animals is challenging, and their successful rearing is dependent on the species, their biology and their carers’ ability to respond to their needs as they grow. Once reaching a specific age, a successful release and subsequent survival must consider many factors, many of which we do not yet understand or predict, especially when considering grizzly bears are supported and trained by their mothers for longer than three years. Grizzly bear rearing faces unique challenges as they must learn the skills necessary to avoid hazards such as older male bears, to hunt other animals, to forage and to understand seasonal movements to access the correct food for preparation for winter hibernation.

    British Columbia does not have government programs for the rearing of grizzly bears and the only BC facility permitted for this purpose, Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS), is a pilot program. Their grizzly program is not operational and is still being evaluated as an effective and humane method of rearing and releasing this species and, therefore, currently not able to accept cubs from other jurisdictions. Active research is ongoing with the NLWS project that includes facility design, the development of best management practices and new efforts to assess previous releases and to track released yearling grizzly bears with radio collars to confirm the behaviour and fate of the bears that are released through the pilot program.

    The cubs at the Calgary Zoo are now habituated to humans and appear to have adapted well. The long-term options for them now only includes permanent captivity. There is an excellent opportunity for them to live long and healthy lives and contribute to conservation of the species by serving as ambassadors. In BC we have three facilities that do this with captive grizzly bears; some even assist researchers in human-bear conflict mitigation by testing bear proof containers. Captive facilities and zoos are now designed to provide for bears in a manner that prevents health and behavioural stress and create amazing educational exposure to people that can never see a grizzly bear in its natural environment. These changes to captive programs do help support free-ranging conservation of wildlife.

    I appreciate you writing to share your concerns and commend you on your dedication to the wellbeing of Canada’s wildlife.

    Yours truly,

    David Muter
    A/Assistant Deputy Minister
    Resource Stewardship Division

    pc: Honourable Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource
    Operations and Rural Development

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