Mama bear, Blondie gave birth to triplet cubs 1.5 years ago. They are the first healthy and safe trio to survive in Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary in 13 years, after Blondie’s first set of triplets were killed by a male bear hoping she would go in heat. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

VIDEO: World’s largest grizzly bear sanctuary sees first set of safe triplet cubs in 13 years

Prince Rupert tourists voyaged to Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary and got a special surprise

Tourists aboard the Inside Passage got a pleasant surprise when they saw a mama bear, Blondie, out and about for the second time this season with her triplets.

The boat voyaged to Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary — the largest enclosed grizzly bear refuge in the world — less than a two hour boat ride north of Prince Rupert, on Thursday, July 4.

READ MORE: Twin bear cubs rescued after mom killed in hit and run on Highway

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

 

This is Blondie’s second set of triplets and the first time in 13 years the sanctuary has seen a healthy and safe sibling trio, according to Reinelda Sankey, a seven-year tour guide on the Inside Passage run by Prince Rupert Adventure Tours.

“We are so excited to see how they have grown,” she said. “This is only the second time she came out of hiding this season.”

READ MORE: Prince Rupert marine business adds second catamaran to its fleet

Grizzly bears can have up to five cubs at once, although that is quite rare, with most having one or two cubs per pregnancy, Sankey explained to passengers.

READ MORE: Photographer Dave Hutchison Captures The Natural World

Blondie was part of the trio born in the sanctuary thirteen years ago. Three years ago she gave birth to her own triplet cubs, but they were sadly killed by a male bear hoping Blondie would go into heat for the mating season.

Sankey explained that when a mother bear gives birth, their bodies will not go into heat until they are done breast feeding their cubs. Two seasons ago – May until August – the crew noticed that Blondie would have one less cub by her side as each month went by.

“But this time around we think she is learning from the past,” said Sankey. “She came out much later in the season and we are excited to see that they are safe and healthy.”

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

 

Sankey said the rangers, whom they frequently get their updates from, have not yet named the baby cubs.

Blondie’s babies are only one-and-a-half years old. When they are old enough they will wander off on their own to start their own families in the sanctuary.

Blondie gave birth to her first born less than eight years ago, Big Ears, who is still hiding away from the open shores of the sanctuary to avoid the larger male bears that will sometimes attack adults who are not yet fully grown.

Mama bear, Blondie, gave birth to triplet cubs 1.5 years ago. They are the first healthy and safe trio to survive in Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary in 13 years, after Blondie’s first set of triplets were killed by a male bear hoping she would go in heat. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

 


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke fitness facilities reopen to the public

Extra measures set in place to ensure user safety

Pandemic spurs egg-citement for backyard chickens in Greater Victoria

Fowl surge in popularity during COVID-19 pandemic

Pandemic profiles: Passion at the heart of community businesses

Businesses rely on community support to stay open

Saanich looks at allowing alcohol in parks after North Vancouver gives the green light

Bylaw allowing liquor in parks ‘a very positive idea,’ mayor says

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read