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Metro Vancouver wildlife rehab centre wants you to name bear cub brought 'back from the brink'

The contest will get 'Bear #29' a new name - and raise funds for the rehab centre
Bear #29, rescued in Port Moody in January, needs a real name. Photo: Critter Care Wildlife Society

A Lower Mainland wildlife rehabilitation centre has launched a fundraising contest to name a Port Moody cub brought “back from the brink,” after it was rescued in January.

Originally known as bear #29, it was brought from Port Moody to Critter Care Wildlife Society’s Langley facility by a conservation officer at around 8:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in what Critter Care described as –9 C, snowy weather.

“He came into the centre sedated on the open bed of a [conservation officer's] pickup truck in a kennel open to the elements,” wrote the organization in a Facebook post at the time.

After warming the bear, facility staff said they discovered the 40-pound creature was over-sedated — “unfortunately, like most bears we receive at the centre.” The post went on to say that with the help of a veterinarian, Critter Care determined the bear had been given up to six times the amount of sedation required, and it suggested the combination of cold temperatures and quantity of sedative could have resulted in its death.

Fortunately, staff were able to bring the animal back “back from the brink.”

In a video shot by Critter Care at the time, the cub is seen lying on a blanket, wet and covered in snow.

In the four months since, the bear has recovered, and now Critter Care is looking to name the Port Moody cub, one of roughly 2,000 native mammals it rehabilitates every year.

According to a description on the organization’s website, bear #29 is “extremely shy,” likes to spend most of his time sleeping in his den and only emerges when his favourite snacks — like blackberries and honeycomb — are laid out.

Moreover, “He has a love-hate relationship with his buddy Stormy from Powell River B.C.,” notes Critter Care.

Despite the fact the organization is the only one of its kind in the Lower Mainland to rehabilitate large carnivores, funding shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult, like many charities, to secure money for their day-to-day operations. 

The organization is teaming up with the Great Canadian Giving Challenge to help fill the gap. For every dollar donated through its website, Critter Care gets its name entered to win an additional $20,000. 

And for every $3 you donate between June 1 and June 22, you’ll get one ballot with your chosen name for the cub entered into the draw. If you win, you’ll get a “sponsorship certificate” with the bear's name and picture alongside your own.

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