Calgary Zoo names Yukon bear cubs

Two orphaned Yukon black bear cubs that were moved to Calgary last year are out of hibernation and ready for their first public close-ups.

Two orphaned Yukon black bear cubs that were moved to Calgary last year are out of hibernation and ready for their first public close-ups.

The siblings also now have names. Teslin, the female, was named after Teslin Lake and Orson, the male, had his name inspired by translations of “bear” in the Romance languages.

The Yukon bears, who are now about a year old, joined three-year-old Manuka, the zoo’s white-furred black bear.

Zoo spokesperson Trish Exton-Parder said the group is getting along well.

“Bears, especially when they are young, love that social interaction,” she said.

The Yukon cubs arrived at the zoo late last August, but between medical tests and getting used to their new home, it was soon time to hibernate.

Mother’s Day weekend was their first big public event.

“The three of them are really doing well and we had unbelievable crowds this weekend,” said Exton-Parder, who credited a lot of that to the new bears.

Right now Orson is more “brave, and full of fun,” while Teslin – the smaller of the bears – “is a little more shy,” she said.

The two young bears were orphaned in July 2014 after their mother started causing trouble in the Copper Ridge area.

The sow had begun eating out of garbage cans, and returned to residential neighbourhoods even after officials tried to relocate the family.

Once the bear developed that habit, conservation officers say they had no choice but to kill her.

The cubs were cared for at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve until their new home was found.

“These young bears are showing great social interaction,” curator Mike Teller said in a statement. “They romp and play together and have certainly adjusted to their unique personalities. It is truly a happy ending for all.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at

Just Posted

Silver rules out HST, layoffs and royalty changes

Yukon’s financial advisory panel has released its final report

City of Whitehorse budgets $30M for infrastructure over four years

‘I think we’re concentrating on the most important things’

Yukon community liaison for MMIWG inquiry fired

Melissa Carlick, the Whitehorse-based community liaison officer for the national Missing and… Continue reading

Yukon man holds no grudge after being attacked by bison

‘The poor guy was only trying to fend off someone who he knew was trying to kill him’

Straight and true: the story of the Yukon colours

Michael Gates | History Hunter Last week, I participated in the 150th… Continue reading

Get ready to tumble: Whitehorse’s Polarettes to flip out at fundraiser

‘There’s a mandatory five-minute break at the end, just so people don’t fall over’

Alaska’s governor goes to China

There are very different rules for resource projects depending on which side of the border you’re on

Yukon survey shows broad support for legal pot

But there’s no consensus on retail and distribution models

Yukon government releases survey on the territory’s liquor laws

Changes could include allowing sale of booze in grocery stores

Get family consent before moving patients to other hospitals: NDP critic

‘Where is the respect and where is the dignity?’

Bill C-17 passes third reading in House of Commons

The bill, which will repeal controversial amendments made to YESAA by Bill S-6, will now go to Senate

White Pass and Yukon Route musical chugs on without director

The cast and crew of Stonecliff are pushing forward without Conrad Boyce, who went on medical leave

Most Read