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Orphaned bear cubs allowed to stay at shelter until spring


CBC News

Sunday, December 16, 2018, 2:49 PM - Two orphaned black bear cubs will be allowed to stay in a wildlife rehabilitation centre until after the spring bear hunt.

The Cochrane Ecological Institute, a non-profit wildlife facility, took in the two cubs — Charlie and Maskwa — in the spring, after Alberta lifted a ban on rehabilitating bears that had been in place since 2010.

At first, the province said the bears would have to be released at eight months old, but then decided the duo could spend the winter at the institute and should be released by April 15. 

Now, it has once again extended the deadline, so the cubs won't be caught in any potential crossfire. 

Maskwa, left, and Charlie are being rehabilitated at the Cochrane Ecological Institute. Submitted by the Cochrane Ecological Institute

'ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL'

"I think what they thought after they set that date that maybe April 15th wouldn't be ideal because the spring bear hunt starts on April 1,

"So they have now decided, which is absolutely wonderful, to have them released after the spring bear hunt finishes in June," said Clio Smeeton, director of the institute. 

The two will spend the winter in a man-made den designed to keep them safe and comfortable during their hibernation. 

Smeeton says the institute does not get to decide where to release the bears. That decision will be made by Alberta Environment and Parks. 

This article was originally published by CBC News. 

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