British Columbia

Orphaned black bear cub sponsored by Squamish hotel staff

Hotel staff grew so fond of the bear cub after noticing it on the grounds that they decided to sponsor it's care at a wildlife sanctuary.

Hotel staff first spotted the cub in October, hungry and alone, says general manager.

Hotel staff spotted the bear cub scrounging the grounds for food and called conservation officers after realizing the cub was an orphan. (Hotel Executive Suites & Resort / Facebook)

Black bears are a common sighting in Squamish, but it's not every day that one gets taken in by a hotel.

Late last month, people at the Executive Suites Hotel and Resort noticed a bear cub wandering around the hotel grounds. They grew concerned after realizing the mother bear was nowhere to be seen.

Jared Sissons, general manager at the hotel, says hotel staff were so enamoured with the little guy that they decided to sponsor its care at a wildlife sanctuary until it can be released back into the wild.

"We hope he's going to be released back into Squamish, because he's a Squamish bear," he said. "The hotel staff have certainly taken a liking to the bear."

Critter Care Wildlife Society, a wildlife sanctuary in Langley, is taking care of the bear cub and aim to release it sometime next year, according to Sissons.

He says the cub looked like it was struggling when hotel staff first spotted it in October.

The hotel where staff sponsored this bear cub is planning to hold a bear-naming contest next week. (Executive Suites Hotel and Resort / Facebook)

"We could tell he was really hungry because he was looking for food and he seemed really thin — maybe about 25 pounds."

Staff saw the cub peeking inside through the front door, on the patio, and roaming the golf course. The cub was also seemed stressed, according to Sissons.

"He was very shy and skittish — he would just bolt and run. He was in distress, I could tell."

What hotel staff didn't know was that conservation officers had been trying to find the cub for the past month.

"We learned that mama bear had been killed by a car on the Sea-to-Sky Highway. This cub had been left as an orphan," said Sissons.

Hotel staff helped officers catch the cub, which was then taken to the sanctuary for rehabilitation.

Sponsoring a bear

Hotel staff have taken on the cost of looking after the bear, including its food and medical bills.

That comes out to $250 per month, according to Sisson, so the hotel is holding a car wash and barbecue in an effort to fundraise part of the cost.

As for the cub's name, that will be up to the public, who can enter a bear-naming contest the hotel is starting next week.

To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Squamish hotel staff sponsor orphaned black bear.