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Injured bear cub rescued near Kimberley

CAROLYN GRANT

Two local sisters, Manuela and Stephanie Hirn, rescued an injured bear cub last Thursday and are hoping to raise funds to pay for its care.

The cub has now been flown to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers for rehabilitation.

The Hirn sisters came across the bear between Kimberley and Marysville at about 10:30 p.m. last Thursday, August 7.

Stephanie says they don't know exactly when the bear cub was hit although they could still smell burned rubber from a car hitting its brakes when they stopped, so they assume not long before they stopped. She says she is "very disappointed" that the car that hit the bear didn't stop and the driver didn't report it. She also says there was no sign of the cub's mother near the scene.

"As my sister Manuela and I approached this incident on the highway, Mike Honeyman, wife Kerry Morris and their friends Ben and Pamela Dunn were already stopped, warning traffic with their hazard lights on.

"My sister and I got out of my car, walked over to see it still breathing and only bleeding slightly, and clearly in shock.

"At first Mike moved this baby to the side of the road. But there was no way I could just leave it like that.

"So I told them to "put the baby bear in my car, we are taking him to the vet".

"All I remember is looking into my rear view mirror, and seeing two ears poke up and yes it melted my heart, as he was sitting in the back, and then they disappeared. The bear was sitting up for half the ride, and laying down for half the ride.

"My sister called her partner Shane to get the dog kennel and a blanket ready in Wycliffe where she lives. Shane, obviously thinking us having a bear in the car is a joke, but later convinced, he transferred the baby into a dog kennel. We transferred the dog kennel to the truck and off to the vet we go."

In the car, Manuela called the vet, then the Conservation Officer, who approved the vet to work on the bear cub.

Stephanie says that at Steeples Veterinary Clinic, the cub appeared to be in decent shape although it was limping.

"It made it through the night, and later it was decided he should be transferred to a rehab in Smithers.  Steeples organized a trip to Smithers, via air to Northern Lights Wildlife Society where this baby bear will spend some time and then be released back into the wild."

The Northern Lights Wildlife Society relies solely on donations to do its good work for animals and the Hirn sisters want to make sure that the costs related to this particular bearcub are taken care of. Their goal is to raise $2,500.

They have created a gofundme page called Baby Bear Rescue — Kimberley, which went live yesterday. You can donate through Facebook. They thank in advance anyone who can help out with a donation.

"My thanks also goes out to Mike, Kerry, Ben and Pamela who stopped to warn traffic and then later transferring the bear into my car, the other vehicle stopping to provide that extra bit of feeling of safety in case momma bear was close, my sister, Manuela for keeping an eye on him in the back of the car while I drove, her partner Shane for transferring the bear into the dog kennel, and finally the vet at Steeples for being there so fast to look at this beautiful baby."

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