Three young bears that have called Muskoka home for the past 15 months are preparing to head back to Alberta.

The Aspen Wildlife Sanctuary took the three orphaned cubs in after they were found abandoned in a washroom in Banff in April of last year.  They made the long trip to the Muskoka sanctuary for rehabilitation with the intent of being returned to the wild.

The cubs were only 6-and-a-half-pounds each when they arrived.  Howard Smith, managing director of the sanctuary says “now they are closer to 90 or 100 pounds.”  Smith says the trio is ready to be released back home. “They’re going back to the mountain landscape in Banff National Park.  They’ll be in an area which is fairly remote and the prognosis is good because they’re planning on radio-collaring them so they’ll be able to monitor them over time and see how they make out.”

During their time at the sanctuary special efforts were made to ensure the bears had minimal human interaction.  This will help them to be properly reintegrated into the wild.

Smith says sending them home during this heat wave would be too stressful for the bears. So, they will be flown back to Alberta in cages later this month when weather conditions and food supplies are best.