Orphaned bear cub falls ill

Fisher, one of two cubs rescued near Cranbrook last month, takes a turn for the worse at wildlife shelter

The tale of the bear cubs saved by two Cranbrook residents a month ago has taken a negative turn, after Fisher, one of the two cubs, fell ill this week.

The cubs, Fisher and Jo, have been at the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter since May, when Cranbrook residents Stephanie McGregor and Colleen Bailey found the young cubs near Bull River and arranged for them to be brought to the shelter in Smithers.

Angelika Langen, manager of the wildlife shelter, said they just got Fisher’s blood results back that show somewhere the male cub has a large infection.

“We’re trying to pinpoint now where it’s coming from,” Langen said. “We started treating two days ago and he’s showing a mild response to it. He hasn’t gotten any worse, but he hasn’t gotten any better either.”

She said they hope that by adding some new drugs today after the blood results came back that they can turn it around.

Fisher suddenly stopped eating on the weekend, which is when they discovered something was wrong.

“He was fine, playing with the bears and doing really well. Then we came up and brought milk and he didn’t want any,” she said. “He was still looking fine and he ate some fruits and vegetables, so we thought maybe he isn’t feeling like milk.”

The next morning, however, he had become shaky and didn’t look well. They isolated him and put him on some antibiotics. On Monday, they took him in for blood tests and put him on IV fluids.

“He really perked up and had a bowl of cereal with honey in it,” she said. “We thought maybe the IV fluids made a difference, but today he is back to where he was before.”

They are now working with vets on a treatment plan.

The shelter is also busy dealing with multiple other rescues at the moment, including a deer injured after being chased down by dogs and a moose calf that got tangled in barbed wire and lost an eye. A couple weeks ago, an orphaned yearling grizzly bear cub from Fernie was brought in. It had come out of hibernation looking very thin and weak, but she said he was doing great now.

Langen admitted the financial toll of all the rescues does add up quickly, with the vet bills, medications and other expenses.

“The dilemma that you have as a non-profit is always, ‘How much do I put into this one animal that I may not be able to save, versus the funds that I may need to potential save some others next week?” she said, adding that even small donations make a huge difference for the shelter.

On Facebook, Colleen Bailey hoped that those in the East Kootenay would donate to the wildlife shelter to help Fisher.

“Fisher is our bear cub. He’s our responsibility,” Bailey said. “Let’s provide NLWS with the resources to give our bear cubs the best chances they have to be returned back to our region to live long, healthy and productive wild lives.”

To donate to or become a member of the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter Society go to

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

Just Posted

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

What's happening at the Cranbrook Public Library
What’s on at the Cranbrook Public Library

Mike Selby The Library is now open with extended hours (with some… Continue reading

The City of Cranbrook is warning the public that the lake at Idlewild Park is not currently safe to skate on after someone cleared the ice over the weekend. (Submitted file)
Idlewild Lake still not safe for skating: City of Cranbrook

Ice on area waterbodies is currently quite thin, and not yet ready for recreation

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

File Photo
Missing hunter found dead in South Country

A hunter was reported as overdue on Nov. 29, and was found deceased on Nov. 30 following an RCMP and SAR operation

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

Most Read