ERRINGTON—Orphaned black bear twins that captured the hearts of North Islanders are back roaming the woods near where they were found.
In fact, the bear enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre (NIWRA) is no longer home to an entire group of young bear cubs.
That’s because volunteers were successful in releasing five more bear cubs from the facility last weekend.
The young cubs were admitted to the centre located in Errington during the spring of 2011 but were released into the wild Saturday.
The bears now out exploring the wilderness include the set of twins from Port McNeill whose mother had been killed by a vehicle on the highway.
Others include a second set of twins from the Campbell River area whose mother had been shot by a hunter and a single cub from the Port Alice area whose mom had to be euthanized after repeatedly coming into town.
All five cubs had been raised at the centre until they were old enough to be released.
All of them were sedated and examined by wildlife veterinarian Dr. Helen Schwantje before being cleared for release.
Conservation officers attended as well to ear-tag the cubs and transport them for release at two sites on the North Island
It brings to 12 the number of releases for the season and leaves the facility with no cubs remaining in rehab.
NIWRA assistant manager Julie Mackey said they will now wait to see what arrives this spring.