The severely malnourished bear cub that was discovered peacefully living with hens inside a chicken coop has found a temporary home and is recovering well.
The 10-month-old orphaned bear, now named Tinsel, was found on a farm near the village of Midway just before Christmas, weighing less than 10 kilograms — a third of what is considered normal for a cub its age.
The cub, whose gender has yet to be determined, was transported more than 1,100 kilometres to the Northern Lights Wildlife shelter in Smithers, B.C.
When it arrived on Christmas Eve, it was lethargic and shy. Days later, it has already gained enough weight to climb and bluff charge its caretakers, according to the shelter’s manager Angelika Langen.
“He will be fine,” said Langen. “Bears, when they come in and they’re this small and light, we feed them over the winter while the others are sleeping. And by the springtime they have almost the same size and weight than those that went into hibernation.”
Veterinarians will examine the cub on Thursday or Friday to determine its gender and health. If it is disease free, it will join nine other orphaned bears staying at the wildlife shelter.
If all goes well, Tinsel will be released back into the wild next year.
“We will keep feeding and taking care of him over the next few months and by the end of June or beginning of July, he will be released back into the Midway area.”
Langen said the cub had probably been separated from its mother for at least two months.
It is still unclear how the bear got into the chicken coop.