Two bear cubs near Sooke had more of an adventure than they’d planned when they found themselves trapped in a dumpster. (BC Conservation Service)

Conservation officers rescue bear cubs stuck in Sooke garbage bin

Cubs were tagged and returned to mama

Two hapless bear cubs have conservation officers to thank for their rescue from a dumpster near Sooke last Wednesday.

“We got a call at about 9:30 a.m. that there were a couple of bear cubs in a dumpster,” said conservation officer Sgt. Scott Norris.

“They couldn’t get out and mama bear was standing a respectful distance away when we arrived.”

Norris said it’s likely the curious cubs were investigating the bin when they fell in and found that they simply couldn’t get out. The mother bear would likewise have been unable to do anything to help.

Conservation officers assessed the situation and used immobilizing drugs to sedate the bears before removing them from the dumpster and fasten ear tags to the little fellows.

Throughout the episode, the mother bear kept watch but did nothing to interfere.

“We dragged them over to the edge of a ravine, about 100 yards away, and they slowly started waking up,” Norris said.

At that point, officers backed off and the mama bear came over and retrieved her cubs, likely to give them a stern talking to about the hazards of large metal bins.

“The strange thing was that there was no food in the dumpster. It was full of recycling, but it’s possible it had the smell of food still in it, or that someone had tossed something into it at some point that didn’t belong there,” Norris said.

He noted this was an uncommon occurrence and that finding bears trapped in dumpsters is almost unheard of.

“It is a good reminder, though, that bears are still active on the South Island and that people have to be aware and secure their garbage, whether it’s in dumpsters or simple garbage cans.”

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

Just Posted

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

UPDATED: Man dies from injuries at Custom House construction site in Victoria

Government Street remains closed as investigation continues

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Netflix, Warner Bros filming 10-part series in Colwood

Filming takes place now until March 2021

Saanich explores options for adding shelters to parks

Covered areas would encourage safe outdoor socializing during rainy season

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Most Read