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Return to the wild: Okanagan bear doesn't look back

Polaris stayed at the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter for just under a year before being released back into the wild.
Image Credit: Northern Lights Wildlife Society
September 05, 2014 - 8:29 AM

VERNON - From the top of a power pole, to a rehabilitation shelter, Polaris the black bear has had quite a journey in her young life, and now she’ll be continuing her adventures in the wild.

The year-and-a-half old black bear found perched on a power pole in Lumby last fall was taken in by the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter in Smithers and cared for until old enough to fend for herself. Shelter worker Angelika Langen says everyone fell in love with the rare cinnamon-gold coloured bear they call Polaris.

“She has a very gentle nature,” Langen says. “Like every bear, she has a special place in our hearts.”

Cubs generally leave their mothers at 18 months old, so it was a perfect time to release Polaris, Langen says. The release was done this June near Lumby with local conservation officers and wildlife biologists present.

“She was in a real hurry to leave,” Langen says with a laugh. “That’s exactly what we want, to see them run off and do their bear thing.”

Langen says Polaris is a resourceful bear and expects her to do well on her own.

“We’re just a little stepping stone in her life,” she says.

The shelter has taken in roughly 300 bears in similar circumstances over the last 24 years, but Langen says Polaris’ chosen locale—the power pole—was a first.

It’s hoped Polaris will stick to the wild from now on. If her release is any indication, she won’t look back.

Video Credit: Northern Lights Wildlife Society

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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