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14 orphan black bear cubs released into the wild

Click to play video 'Bears released back into the wild by Critter Care' Bears released back into the wild by Critter Care
WATCH: There were a record number of orphaned bear cubs in B.C. last fall, and many animal rescue groups were packed over the winter trying to take care of them. But now, the cubs are being released back into the wild. As Linda Aylesworth reports, conservation officers hope the majority of cubs will survive their second chance – May 8, 2016

After spending nearly a year nursing 32 orphaned black bear cubs back to health, the Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley has started releasing them back into the wild.

It is a big job that is carried out with the help of the Conservation Officers Service, whose members tranquilize the now hefty cubs and transport them to remote locations in the province.

Only a lucky few orphaned bruins get this second chance; most are euthanized because they were discovered after they had become habituated to human handouts.

No one is really sure why so many cubs were orphaned this year.

Some of the mothers are killed by hunters, even though shooting a bear with cubs is illegal, others are hit by cars or trains.

There is also a theory that the scarcity of berries caused by last summer’s unusually hot dry weather might have caused some of the mothers to abandon their young. Although some biologists doubt this is the case.

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On Thursday, 14 of the 32 Critter Cares cubs were released.

Normally there is a resting period for the staff and volunteers once last year’s cubs are all gone. But not this year. New orphans have already started to arrive, including two tiny cubs discovered with their eyes still closed.

Visit Critter’s Care website for more information on how to help.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Getting ready for releasing the bear cubs.
Getting ready for releasing the bear cubs. Linda Aylesworth | Global News
Orphan black bear cubs released into the wild Thursday by Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley.
Orphan black bear cubs released into the wild Thursday by Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley. Linda Aylesworth | Global News
Part of the process of releasing the cubs back into the wild.
Part of the process of releasing the cubs back into the wild. Linda Aylesworth | Global News
Part of the process of releasing the cubs back into the wild.
Part of the process of releasing the cubs back into the wild. Linda Aylesworth | Global News
Soon the bear cub will wake up and be ready to roam in the wild.
Soon the bear cub will wake up and be ready to roam in the wild. Linda Aylesworth | Global News
Soon the bear cub will wake up and be ready to roam in the wild.
Soon the bear cub will wake up and be ready to roam in the wild. Linda Aylesworth | Global News
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Linda Aylesworth | Global News