Black Bear Management in Alberta

Following the requirements of the Alberta Wildlife Act and Regulation, the successful rescue, rearing and return to the wild (re-wilding) of orphaned indigenous wildlife, including bear cubs, was undertaken on the government’s behalf and under government permit, but at their own expense, by Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres in Alberta. In 2010, the Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resources Department’s Fish & Wildlife Policy Branch made a decision to prevent the rescue, rearing and re-wilding of a wide range of orphaned indigenous wildlife, including orphaned Black bear cubs in Alberta.

The Government of Alberta, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) on April 18, 2018, reversed their 2010 decision and released the “Alberta Orphaned Black Bear Cub Rehabilitation Protocol”. The existence of the “Alberta Orphaned Black Bear Cub Rehabilitation Protocol” enables those facilities that have been approved by AEP to once again accept, rear and re-wild orphaned Black bear cubs.

Cochrane Ecological Institute successfully accepted, reared and returned to the wild (re-wilding) orphaned Black bear cubs from 1985 to 2012 and is one of the few facilities in Alberta that has the purpose built enclosures with proven design enabling the successful return of orphaned black bear cubs to their suitable native habitat.

If you find an injured or orphaned Black Bear Cub this is what you must do:

1. Contact your local Alberta Environment and Parks office or Fish and Wildlife Officer to report the cub.

2. If you can't contact AEP or a Fish and Wildlife Officer Contact: Cochrane Ecological Institute (403 932 5632)

3. Monitor the situation until either the government or the Rehabilitation facility responds to your request for assistance.

We would like to thank the province of Alberta for their work on this protocol and their acceptance of Black Bear Cub Rehabilitation and re-wilding as a positive Conservation Activity.

Charlie and Muskwa

What's happening to bears in Alberta 2021:

-This years buffalo berry crop is less than previous years, which may push bears outside of their normal feeding ranges. CBC reports on this:
-This year, 70 bears have been captured in the greater Fort McMurray area, of which 19 have been relocated, and 59 killed. These numbers are on par with previous years, according to data from the province. The question is; If this is just from Fort Mcmurray what is happening elsewhere in Alberta?
-While not in Alberta, a B.C. conservation officer’s refusal to kill two black bear cubs sparked a debate about managing wildlife. Bryce Casvant, former B.C. conservation officer, refused the order the kill two black bear cubs 6 years ago, and lost his job. Subsequently, he has refused to comment on the story for fear of losing his desk job in the Ministry of Forests he acquired after being let go as a conservation officer. Recently he has decided it's time to share his story. You can read the full article by clicking here.