Basil, Rosemary and Thyme are spicing things up at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
The zoo in Aldergrove has taken in three orphaned black bear cubs from Alaska.
They arrived Sept. 4 and are living in the North American Wilds section where visitors can now see them as they grow.
The siblings were about seven months old when they arrived. Basil is the young male who is the leader of the pack and is closely followed by his two sisters: Rosemary and Thyme. Their mother is presumed dead.
“The cubs are from Anchorage, Alaska and I can confirm they will remain at the Greater Vancouver Zoo as ambassador animals for their species,” said Menita Prasad, the zoo’s animal care manager. “In cases where animals have become habituated, rehabilitation is often not an option as the animals could potentially pose a threat to human safety. If we did not take in these cubs, there may not have been a future for them.”
“We currently have five black bears at the zoo – the three cubs as well as two adult males – Kohl, whom was born here at the zoo and is now 12 years old and Drum, whom is a retired movie bear and is 19 years old,” she said.
The zoo is hoping the Alaska cubs’ story will spotlight the need for people to take action to reduce human-wildlife conflict.
The biggest issue in human-wildlife conflict is animals trying to feed on items humans have left out, such as garbage, fruits and vegetables not harvested, or pet food put out of doors.
Limiting access to non-native food sources reduces the interaction with animals and the number of animals that are killed.
The zoo is recommending that people:
• Store garbage in secure containers, clean bins regularly and move to the curb on the morning of collection date.
• Collect fruit and vegetables from gardens, often ensuring any items that have fallen to the ground are cleaned up on a consistent basis.
• Do not feed pets outside or clean up any uneaten food items immediately.
• Clean BBQs after use, empty grease traps, and cover or store indoors.