The Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter is currently home to 30 black bears

The Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter is currently home to 30 black bears

Society needs help to help the bears

Help light up the "Bear Tree" for the Northern Lights Wildlife Society.

  • Dec. 9, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Angelika Langen

A small northern B..C Wildlife Shelter is hoping to pull a string of light through our Province as they embark on yet another long distance bear rescue.

A small grizzly cub in Golden has been captured by Conservation Officer Alex Desjardins and is now seeking to spend the winter at Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter (NLWS) in Smithers.

Shelter founders Angelika and Peter Langen started the 17 hour drive to Golden Monday morning, in a borrowed truck as their own truck is no longer deemed safe on long distances and funds for a newer vehicle are lacking. In order to help with the expenses of housing, feeding rescuing and releasing the animals, Dorothy Avery of Toronto started a campaign of lights in 2011. The aim is to light up the Christmas tree (decorated by NLWS in front of the Smithers Feed Store) by Christmas Eve.

The shelter is currently home to 30 black bears, and soon five grizzlies from all over B.C. All are cubs of this year that lost their mother mainly due to vehicle accidents.

To help light up this “bear” tree, go to or call 250-877-1181 and make a small donation. Every $25 raised will light up another bulb, helping them save orphaned cubs in dire need of rescue.


• NLWS is a registered Charity and all donations receive a tax receipt;

• Founded in 1990 NLWS has accepted 329 bears over the years including 17 grizzlies and 3 Kermode bears. 90 per cent of these cubs have been released back to the wild;

• NLWS is not funded by the Government and is run on volunteer labour;

• The current cub in Golden weighs only about 20 pounds where it should be around 70 pounds this time of year. It will need extensive care and constant evaluation to ensure rehabilitation is possible.

• The Grizzly pilot Project is run in partnership with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and the B.C. Government;

• Why so many cubs this year: The dry summer across B.C. has created a food shortage for many bears as the berry crop did not fare well in the heat. In search for food more bears crossed highways or wandered into towns.