A skinny bear cub from the Comox Valley, brought to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre by conservation officers Wednesday, will join other underweight cubs being cared for at the centre. Scientists are puzzled by the number of skinny cubs showing up on Vancouver Island. Photo Credit: North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, Times Colonist

Samantha Ellis, Global Animal

A dramatic increase of orphaned bear cubs is occurring throughout British Columbia. The three wildlife rehabilitation centers each have more cubs to care for than ever before. While the biggest cause of this upswing in malnourished cubs is a lack of food this past year and resulting bear/human conflicts, other big contributors are hunting and poaching.

Each center is beyond capacity, and the cost of rehabilitating them is more than the dwindling government grants. Funding was decreased this year, and will be completely cut in 2012, giving the rehabilitators even more to worry about.

It is estimated that to rehabilitate one cub it costs $5,000. That’s $5,000 the wildlife centers do not have. Despite these horrifying increases in bear deaths and resulting starving orphans, the government does not plan on helping the rehabilitation. — Global Animal