N.S. wildlife park fundraising to save ‘Little Bear’ from euthanasia

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CTV Atlantic: Park raising money for bear cub

A wildlife park in Cape Breton, N.S., is appealing for donations to build a new cage for an orphaned black bear cub in their care.

The nearly one-year-old black bear, dubbed “Little Bear,” was found wandering alone by a pair of men on a highway near Whycocomagh, N.S., in May. Unable to locate the male cub’s mother, one of the men brought Little Bear to the Two Rivers Wildlife Park in Cape Breton.

The bear was in poor health and only weighed seven pounds when it was received at the park. Jarrett Lewis, a park staff member, told CTV Atlantic that Little Bear was nursed back to health after being diagnosed with pneumonia by a local veterinarian.

“We treated him appropriately and he made a great recovery,” Lewis said on Sunday.

Park staff said the small bear cub can’t return to the wild after being cared for by humans, which means Little Bear is there to stay. Unfortunately, the black bear is quickly outgrowing its cage and will be in need of some more spacious accommodations.

“His cage is small. It’s not appropriate for him,” Lewis said.

But wildlife park employees explained that the adorable cub is too small to take up residence in the enclosure that a pair of adult black bears already call home.

Without a new shelter for the bear cub, the park staff said they may be left with no other option but to euthanize Little Bear.

Instead, Two Rivers Wildlife Park is hoping to raise approximately $40,000 in donations to construct a new shelter solely for Little Bear. Lewis said that the park’s initiative has already started to pay off, already raising nearly 10 per cent of their target.

“The phones are going non-stop, emails coming in,” Lewis said. “They want us to do a Go Fund Me page. They’re doing e-transfers. They’re coming out to see the baby bear, which is the most important part.”

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