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

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Man who stole truck and canoe in View Royal believed he was fleeing zombies, court finds

Judge finds man not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder for 2019 thefts

Electrical issue causes heavy smoke to billow from Oak Bay Avenue coffee shop

Victoria and Oak Bay fire crews responded to smoke at Victoria café

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Shoplifting suspect allegedly spits on worker at store in Nanaimo

Suspect became aggressive when confronted by loss prevention officer at Walmart, say RCMP

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Most Read