Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) personnel from Pembroke visited Barry’s Bay during the week of December 10 following reports of an orphaned bear cub, but were unable to locate the animal at that time. Most bears in our area are in hibernation by now so the cub’s mother must have died or been killed by a hunter and it didn’t know how to carry on. On Wednesday December 19 the MNRF men were on their way to Combermere on a different project. As they drove down Siberia Road past the hospital, they saw a few people standing around looking at something just across from Biernacki Mountain Road. Lo and behold, up in a tree was the bear cub that they had looked for in vain the previous week.
Fortunately, they had thrown the appropriate equipment into their truck just in case. They parked nearby and waited at the bottom of the tree (above) with what looked like a large fishing net, a pole snare and a cage. They told me that their plan was to capture the bear and take it to an animal shelter in Parry Sound where it would spend the rest of the winter. In the spring the MNR crew would retrieve it from the shelter and their instructions would be to release the young bear within 100 kilometres of where it had been picked up.
Then began what looked like a game as the confused cub would travel down the tree, then up the tree, and back down again without going anywhere near the ground. After a considerable amount of time, the men retreated to the truck to give the cub a chance to relax a bit before renewing their efforts. I left at this point but when I returned half an hour later, the men and the bear were gone.
No doubt, they were taking it to its winter home at the animal shelter.
Photos: Bob Corrigan