Orphaned polar bear found wandering alone finds new home at Canadian conservation centre

'Cubs this young are not able to survive on their own,' says zoo

Saturday 26 November 2016 17:34
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Orphaned Polar Bear Cub Arrives at Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre

An orphaned polar bear cub found wandering around the town of Churchill in eastern Canada without its mother has found a new home at a conservation centre.

The female cub, who weighs 100lbs (45kg) and is believed to be 11 months old, was "identified as in need of intervention", the centre said in a post on its Facebook page.

“The young cub was observed alone in the Churchill area without its mother for some time before wandering near the town of Churchill,” the zoo said.

“Cubs of this age need to stay with their mothers for at least one winter, or freeze-up of the Western Hudson Bay, to learn how to hunt and to have her protection from other bears.

"Wildlife experts agree cubs this young are not able to survive on their own.”

Cubs need to stay with their mothers for their at least one winter to learn how to hunt

Responding to questions about its decision to take care of the young animal, the zoo replied: “First and foremost please know that we at the Assiniboine Park Zoo were hoping more than anyone that we would not get a call this year about a cub needing our help.

“We believe these beautiful animals belong in the wild.

"We also believe when we receive a call from conservation experts from the Province of Manitoba saying an animal needs our help that it is our obligation to do so.”

The zoo is home to seven other polar bears

Head veterinarian Dr Chris Enright said: “This is a very unfortunate situation as it appeared we would make it through the 2016 polar bear season without a bear needing our help.

“We are happy to report that the cub is in good health and is doing well in her new surroundings.”

'We believe these beautiful animals belong in the wild,' says zoo

The bear will be quarantined for 30 days before it is introduced to the public and seven other polar bears called Storm, Aurora, Kaska, Blizzard, Stark, York and Eli, already living at the zoo. The female cub has not yet been named.

The 10-acre Assinboine nature park is home to other artic animals and runs an exhibit that generates awareness of the implications of climate change.

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