CLOVER THE KERMODE BEAR HEALTHY IN QUARANTINE
The BC Wildlife Park is abuzz with people now that the weather is warming up, but park visitors shouldn't expect a peek at the lone white furry park friend who caused some controversy last year.
Clover the Kermode bear, a rare bear also known as a spirit bear and known for its cream-coloured coat, came to the B.C. Wildlife Park in October 2012.
The young cub made headlines for being the only known Kermode bear in captivity. He later became controversial after escaping the zoo and becoming the centre of an animal rights conflict as an online petition formed to free him back into the wild.
To date, the petition has just under 900 supporters, but the park refused to release Clover on the basis that he wouldn't survive in the wild after being habituated. Environment Minsiter Terry Lake agreed.
The bear was placed into quarantine and hibernated through the winter.
"He's healthy, he's awake, he's still in quarantine," said Glenn Grant, general manager of the BC Wildlife Park.
And there's no escaping this time - the park has secured his quarantined pen with an electric fence.
"When he challenges the fence… he's going to get a zap," Grant said.
The bear has already tried to challenge the same spot where he escaped into the Dallas area last year, but Grant said he quickly scrapped escape plans after encountering the zap from the fence.
He said the park is working to get him into a permanent habitat.
"We're working with zoo designers right now," he said.
Once plans are in place, fundraising and construction will begin. Grant said the move will be a good one for Clover.
"He does need more space," he said.
The public can expect to see Clover in his new home next spring, but for now, he seems to be keeping out of trouble.
"He is a normal two-year-old black bear - it's just that he's white."
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Clover the Kermode bear is the only known bear of it's kind in captivity. It arrived at the BC Wildlife Park in October of last year.