EDITORIAL – Two orphaned bear cubs deserve a chance, so cut the red tape

Bear cub hangs on in Rivershore.

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

POLICY IS OFTEN CITED as a reason for doing things but, like the law, policy can be an ass.

There are two orphaned bear cubs in Kamloops right now that will probably die from starvation, injury, exposure or predation. It doesn’t have to be that way.

In both cases, their mothers were killed by vehicles, leaving the cubs on their own.

Residents in Rivershore and Rayleigh have been begging the BC Conservation Officer Service to allow the cubs to be captured and cared for through the winter by a licensed rehab centre so they can be released in spring.

But red tape stands in the way. Before either the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter or the Critter Care Wildlife Society would be allowed to undertake the rescue, they need permission from the Conservation service.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9378 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Two orphaned bear cubs deserve a chance, so cut the red tape

  1. Karen Currie // December 2, 2021 at 4:27 PM // Reply

    What has happened to the orphaned bear cub in Rayleigh BC? Was it captured and sent to an animal rehab center or did it die?

    • Mel Rothenburger // December 2, 2021 at 4:36 PM // Reply

      We haven’t had an update lately but at last word it was doing fine. It was taken to the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter in Smithers.

  2. This story is a tough one to digest. Allowing orphaned cubs to starve to death in front of a human audience kind of makes me sick to my stomach.
    I wonder if you have tried calling the SPCA to see what response they give?

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