With the province of Ontario reinstating the 'controversial' spring bear hunt, it's critical to recognize the abundance of young that are under the threat of abandonment with the hunting season quickly approaching.
Due to hunting this year, cubs may be orphaned, but many other types of Ontario wildlife are also left abandoned, orphaned and injured, due to a variety of reasons, with only a few local facilities with the ability, tools and knowledge needed in the aiding, recovery and revival of these unfortunate young animals.
According to animal activists, the spring bear hunt is downright 'cruel' considering bears are just rising from another long winter of hibernation. Mother bears become pregnant in June and July so while hibernating, they're also nurturing their unborn cubs. If their nursing mothers are shot by accident, the offspring will more than likely be searching for food since they haven't been shown how to forage, while most orphaned cubs will almost inevitably succumb to starvation and ultimately, death.
"The hunt was originally cancelled in 1999 after science and reports from the Ministry of Natural Resources showed no results in preventing nuisance bear calls and led to the known orphaning of over 270 cubs. But it seems politicians have short memories - or are desperate for votes. APFA, in conjunction with several other animal advocacy groups, are standing strongly against this hunt, noting that it will not solve any nuisance problems, that it will result in the orphaning of cubs, and that the baiting and hunting of bears is an unsafe practice." (The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals).
Shortcut to Serenity is a local wildlife rehab facility located in Stayner, Ontario, that happens to be the sole facility within an hour's drive. The centre is managed by Diane Babeckas who has an adamant devotion to animals; her passion has kept her working with animals for over 20 years and she's been licenced by the Ministry of Natural Resources Canada as well as Canada Wildlife Services since the licensing came into effect 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, her love for animals does not mean she is fully equipped to handle larger wildlife such as bears. This spring Diane will certainly have a full-plate with all of the young animals she will be attending to. Diane disagrees with the spring bear hunt: "I'm totally against the spring bear hunt; all it does is make more orphaned babies for the wildlife centres, mess with the natural environment and induce pain and suffering on our precious bears."
Diane rescues all types of wildlife, specializing in rabies vector species such as raccoons, bats, and birds as well as migratory birds like robins, crows, woodpeckers, ducks and geese. Last year, Diane rehabilitated almost 200 animals including 70 birds, 62 raccoons, 30 Canada geese, 22 mallards and two bats. Diane relies on donations from the public and runs her facility on her own. Currently, Diane is on a devout mission to raise enough money to expand her sanctuary; essentially, Diane would like to purchase more land for larger animals such as bears. Diane's next 'mission' is to raise enough money to erect a fence around the perimeter of her facility as well as develop a non-profit website in order to raise awareness and share her wildlife stories.
Diane also takes in other wildlife species that are not on her list like fawns, opossums, hawks and owls, and further relocates them to the proper facilities.
Last year, Diane cared for five fawns, four opossums, six hawks and four owls. Although she is presently unable to maintain and care for all of the animals she would hope to, her determination and soft heart are the prime motivators in the expansion of "Shortcut to Serenity" slowly making this necessary service a reality.
Only through research, education and making a visit to your local Wildlife Sanctuary or Rescue, will the general public be capable of making a difference in an orphaned bear's life. As always, an informed citizen is an irreplaceable weapon in the conservation and preservation of our ecosystems and wildlife. Continued donations to agencies like "Shortcut to Serenity" are pertinent in keeping the needless, impeding loss of many different species of animals like these bear cubs and their mothers to a minimum. As the snow melts and spring quickly approaches, 'bear' in mind the upcoming 'controversial' spring bear hunt.
Contact Diane Babeckas for local wildlife enquiries or call 705-428-6116. Remember: the best nation in the world is donation.
Please vote here to make your vote on whether you're for or against the spring hunt - by clicking here.
Melanie Vollick is the owner and founder of Write Way Communications (Professional & Reliable Writing Services). She is an active advocate of sustainable living and has a B.A. with Honours in Environmental & Resource Studies from Trent University.
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