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Orphaned bear cub found in -25 C weather

An orphaned black bear cub has a new lease on life after it was found Wednesday wandering aimlessly along a road near Sinclair Mills.

An orphaned black bear cub has a new lease on life after it was found Wednesday wandering aimlessly along a road near Sinclair Mills.

The temperature was -25 C and there was about 15 cm (six inches) of snow on the ground when conservation officers, responding to a call from a member of the public, arrived on the scene.

"When it was found on the road, it was fairly weak indicating it had likely been out for some time in the cold," B.C. Conservation Officer Service deputy chief Chris Doyle said Thursday during a teleconference with media across the province.

But because it had no history of conflict with humans, it was deemed a good candidate for rehabilitation and handed over to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society near Smithers. It will be kept there over the winter and released back into its home range next spring, Doyle said.

"We don't always know how cubs get orphaned," Doyle said. "In some cases, we do know, where the sow might be hit by a motor vehicle or had been shot illegally. But in this case we don't know where the sow is or what happened to the sow."

Although bears continue to remain out and looking for food further south, Doyle said most are now in their dens up this way. That a cub would be found out at this time of year so far north is a rarity.

"And that's fortunate because by this time of the year we hope cubs are safely in their den with their sow," Doyle said.