Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter is now home to a tiny bear cub that was rescued out of Telkwa recently. He weighs less than a third of what he should. (Contributed photo)

Wildlife shelter clings to hope for malnourished bear cub

Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter takes in cub weighing less than a third of what it should

The Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter (NLWS) is hoping for a Christmas miracle after a bear cub was brought into their care weighing less than a third of what it should.

The conservation office gave the shelter a cub they found in Telkwa last week.

Shelter owner Angelika Langen said he came to them in such horrible condition they weren’t sure he was going to survive. A bear his age at this time of the year should weigh between 50 and 75 lbs but he is only 12 lbs.

“He is skin and bones, he is tiny,” said Langen, but after a couple of nerve-wracking days, she thinks he is on the mend.

“It is an amazing story of survival, and I’m pretty sure he is going to be OK because he is already huffing and puffing at me.”

This new little cub isn’t the only one in their care currently giving them a run for their money. Recently they discovered one cub with a gunshot wound.

“We really didn’t expect to find something like this. In the over 500 bears we’ve never found something like this. The wound was infected and the bullet was embedded between the ear and the eye, he was lucky. It could’ve easily gone into the ear or eye and caused some major damage. Having that in there wasn’t a good thing but now that it has been removed it will heal and he will never remember that it was there.”

The bear, out of Merritt, is still eligible for release.

Langen forwarded the information to the conservation office in Merritt but she doubts they will be able to find the culprit. NLWS does not receive government funding and relies on sponsors and donors.

Their biggest fundraiser of the year is now going on. The tree outside of the Feed Store in Smithers has been strung with Christmas lights and a bulb will be illuminated for every $25 donation. It will be updated every Saturday from now until Christmas. Donations can be made on the shelter’s website.

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