Muskoka wildlife sanctuary sees increase in injured bears
A Muskoka wildlife sanctuary is seeing more injured bears than normal.
It’s not uncommon for Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to care for at least one bear, but over the past month they have welcomed six to their facility.
“We've had broken legs, we've had injuries that needed to be stitched up because they had gaping wounds and the worst one was an actual broken back and that animal had to be euthanized because her spine was severed,” says Janalene Kingshott, director of animal care.
The summer drought has resulted in a short supply of berries, which has left bears to search for food. When they’re more active like this, Aspen Valley says they’re more likely to be struck by vehicles.
“What we see is only part of what actually happens. Not all of them are killed on the highway proper, they may get injured and go off into the bush and nobody ever finds them,” says Howard Smith, managing director.
As winter approaches, the animals need as much food as a possible to build up fat reserves for their hibernation. Apples and acorns are now attracting bears to residential areas.
“Keep your garbage and any food source tidy.”
Wildlife experts say bears will continue to be very active at least for another six weeks until they hibernate for the winter.