An official with Parks Canada said they may never learn how three black bear cubs became stranded inside a roadside bathroom in Banff National Park earlier this month.
The bruins were found by a driver who stopped to use the facility, overlooking Vermillion Lakes, on April 1. The bears are roughly three to four months old, but their mother was nowhere to be found.
The cubs have since been transported to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario.
Parks Canada Integrated Land Use Policy and Planning manager Sheila Louey said the bears are doing well at their new home, but conceded they “don’t know” and “may never know” how the cubs came to be trapped.
It’s hoped the cubs can be rehabilitated and released back into the wild after a year’s time.
“It took a lot of hands to get these three little bears landed in the right place for the next year,” Louey said. “That will give them their best chance of returning back to the landscape successfully.”
“We hope to see these bears back on the mountain park landscape,” Louey added. “That could be anywhere in Kootney, Yoho, Jasper or Banff National Park – so not necessarily Alberta.”
The cubs had to be transported to B.C. before being flown to Toronto. In a previous interview with Global News the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary said the government of Alberta “would not issue” Parks Canada an export permit to allow the cubs to fly out of Calgary – adding a five hour drive through the mountains to the bears’ trip.
“Every province has its own regulations concerning the transport of wildlife within the province and we worked with the B.C. government and the province of Ontario to get the permissions to take the bears to Ontario,” Louey explained.
“The public has been amazing in terms of expressing their concern,” Louey added. “We want to thank everybody for helping us out with this one.”