Search for bear cubs after mother killed

A Winnipeg woman describes finding two bear cubs and their dead mother a heartbreaking experience.
A bear cub peeks from the ditch beside the body of its mother on Highway 313. (CBC/Cathie Mieyette)

A Winnipeg woman describes finding two bear cubs and their dead mother as a heartbreaking experience.

Cathie Mieyette was driving on Highway 313 on Saturday when she saw a dead bear lying on the side of the road.

She says the bear's two cubs were trying to get their mother to wake up, so Mieyette and two other women stopped to direct traffic to make sure the cubs wouldn't get hit.

"I was crying when I came up on the scene, when I saw the baby on mom's back, making this crying noise and the other one nudging her to try and drink from her," Mieyette said.

"It was like he was trying to wake her up. It was very sad, it was very heartbreaking."

As more people started gathering at the scene, the frightened cubs ran into the bush.

Officials from Manitoba Conservation arrived a short time later but the cubs could not be located.

"I felt helpless, really what could I do? I couldn't bring their mom back," Mieyette said.

"There were so many things going through my head, you know it was like, 'God there's got to be more you can do for these two babies.'"

In a statement, Manitoba Conservation said efforts will be made to catch the bears and move them "to a more appropriate area of forest."

The cubs will remain in the wild as they should be able to forage on their own, the government said.