Orphaned bear cubs temporarily at Yukon Wildlife Preserve
'At least they have each other,' says Wildlife Preserve official
Two orphaned black bear cubs are now at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, while environment officials search for a proper home for them, after their mother was killed by conservation officers early Tuesday morning.
Despite the loss of their mother, staff at the preserve say the cubs, a male and a female, appear to be doing well.
"They are trying to get used to it, which is hard, but then they are also little kids so they are exploring things and eating really well, which we are really happy about," said curator Maria Hallock.
The cubs seem particularly fond of oatmeal and apples.
"He's a little more aggressive, but also a little bit more insecure. He cries a lot more than the little girl," said Hallock. "She's shy, she's calm, has lots of personality. They love each other, they play together. At least they have each other."
Earlier this summer the family could be seen eating dandelions along Hamilton Boulevard, in a residential neighbourhood of Whitehorse, but the mother soon discovered unsecured compost bins and became a "garbage bear."
Conservation officers trapped the bear family and relocated them across the Yukon River from Whitehorse, but they made their way back into town and were again breaking into compost and garbage bins.
The cubs were brought to the Wildlife Preserve on Tuesday night, but it isn't equipped to house them.
"We don't have them in our collection plan," said Hallock. "We don't have resources to build an enclosure there. They're expensive, hard to maintain."
The bears will stay at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve for another week or two while officials search for a proper home for them.