The Whitehorse bear cubs sent this summer to live in the Calgary Zoo have been safely introduced to their new den mate.
Manuka, the facility’s other black bear, was introduced to the two Yukon cubs in stages over the last few weeks, zoo officials say.
“This is such a positive story for us as we were able to become the new home for two orphaned cubs and at the same time, provide company for our lone black bear,” curator Mike Teller said in a news release. “Young bears are very social and this will be very enriching for all of the bears.”
The siblings, who are about eight or nine months old, arrived at the Calgary Zoo in late August and had to go into quarantine before being introduced into the bear habitat.
They were orphaned in July when Yukon conservation officers were forced to shoot and kill their mother.
The sow had begun eating out of garbage cans, and returned to residential neighbourhoods even after the conservation officers tried to relocate the family.
“In their new home in Canadian Wilds, the bears will become ambassadors, educating zoo visitors on how to allow bears to remain wild animals,” the zoo’s statement said.
Spokesperson Trish Exton-Parder said the cubs don’t have names yet. The zoo considered running an open contest to come up with a name. But since the cold is coming, the bears are settling into their winter hibernation so they’re not often visible to the public, she said.
Instead, the zookeepers will have the responsibility of coming up with names. The names chosen for animals usually have something to do with where they are from, she said.