The latest cub at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, Crumpet. (NIWRA photo)

Crumpet the orphaned bear cub recovering at Vancouver Island wildlife centre

Baby bruin found weak and underweight in Qualicum Beach

Crumpet, the orphaned bear cub found weak and underweight in Qualicum Beach earlier this month, is making a quick recovery at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington.

The baby bruin was alone, with its mother nowhere in sight, when some residents found the animal and reported it to conservation officers. The cub was taken to the centre on April 15.

“It was very skinny, weighing only 2.8 pounds,” said Derek Downes, an animal technician at the centre. “So it was very, very small. The initial report that it was on its own for three days was accurate. It’s a good thing we got it when we did because it would not have lasted a lot longer without its mama. Cubs this young are still on a liquid diet, suckling off their mothers, so she was in grave danger by herself.”

Downes said Crumpet is rapidly on the mend.

“She’s doubled in size already,” said Downes. “She eating fantastic and has gained a lot of energy. Everything about the little one is really, really positive right now.”

The centre takes care of man orphaned bears and Downes said it’s a challenging job.

“We are feeding them in a way that is unnatural to them as they are used to suckling from their mothers,” Downes explained. “We use a syringe first, which is foreign to them. But it is vital to get the nutrition inside them.”

Once the cub has recovered, the next step would be to try to get it off the syringe and train it to feed from a bowl to reduce human contact with them. It’s time-consuming, said Downes.

“We spend many hours of the day taking care of this cub (Crumpet),” said Downes. “Unfortunately, she’s not the only one that we take care of here. There’s multiple things going on. We have eagles, songbirds, ravens and other animals. So it’s a lot of work.”

READ MORE: North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre temporarily closed to the public

The centre is already taking care of another cub received in January. Downes said Crumpet will eventually be paired with this cub but she needs to grow more in size.

“The size difference is just too drastic,” said Downes. “Our first cub, Goldie, is already feeding on its own so we have to make sure we’re careful upon introduction. They will absolutely be together.”

Aside from the cubs, the centre currently has three grown-up bears from last year set to be released to the wild this summer.

“This is the end of one cycle and the start of a new one,” said Downes.

The centre, however, has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has lost one of its revenue sources as they are unable to open the centre to the public.

“We are hurting just like everybody else,” said Downes. “We are a non-profit group and we rely on the public. We lost out on spring break and having our doors closed. We understand the reason for it and we want to keep everybody safe. We’re in the same boat as everybody. But we rely on admissions, which are nil right now, and donations.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation can call the gift shop at 250-248-8534.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

bearsParksvillequalicum beachWildlife

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

Just Posted

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

Sooke couple that owned Sooke Harbour House given $4 million after lengthy court case

B.C. Supreme Court rules in favour of Frederique and Sinclair Philip

Local MP Elizabeth May likes aspects of throne speech, but questions execution

According to May nobody is as ‘reckless’ as BC’s John Horgan in dismissing snap election

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read