Orphaned Yukon black bear cubs off to Calgary Zoo

Two bear cubs who were orphaned in July after their mother was shot and killed by wildlife officers in a Whitehorse neighbourhood were flown to Alberta Friday, to their new home at the Calgary Zoo.

Mother was killed in July by wildlife officers in Whitehorse neighbourhood

Two bear cubs who were orphaned in July after their mother was shot and killed by wildlife officers in a Whitehorse neighbourhood were temporarily housed at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve until a permanent home could be found for them. (CBC)

Two black bear cubs orphaned in Whitehorse were flown to Alberta Friday, to their new home at the Calgary Zoo.

The bears were orphaned in July after their mother was shot and killed by wildlife officers after becoming a nuisance bear in a Whitehorse neighbourhood. The mother bear and her cubs had been relocated once, but returned to the residential neighbourhood and could not be dissuaded from eating garbage. 

Yukon environment minister Currie Dixon says the cubs took an Air North flight Friday afternoon.

"Air North actually has been very accommodating, and have helped us out a significant amount by being willing to take these guys," he said. "They're in something akin to a dog kennel that's been souped up and made bear-appropriate."

After being orphaned, the cubs stayed at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. The preserve doesn't keep large carnivores so the Yukon government worked to find them a permanent home.

The Calgary Zoo has one lone female, three-year-old black bear, who Dixon said should be happy to have some companions.

The two cubs will be quarantined at first and then slowly acclimatized to their new enclosure and their new companion.