Black bear cub removed from Cochrane Ecological Institute, license revoked


CALGARY – Alberta fish and wildlife officers removed a black bear cub from a wildlife rehabilitation center earlier this month and revoked the facility’s license to work with the animals.

The decision was made on June 1 when Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers removed a cub from the Cochrane Ecological Institute (CEI) and revoked its license to rehabilitate orphaned black bears.

A hunter was near Kearl Lake on May 16 and called the IEC to report that a bear cub had been found covered in bitumen. The hunter called the center after observing the cub for 12 hours and not seeing his mother anywhere nearby.

Clio Smeeton, president of the CEI Center, said the rehabilitation permit required her to report the bear within 24 hours of arriving at her facility. Smeeton says it was closer to 40 hours by the time she started submitting the forms.

Smeeton says she’s very busy in her facility right now and the important thing to her is that the cub is safe.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife claims Smeeton violated other license requirements, such as asking the hunter to lead the bear halfway to its facility and not bring the petroleum-covered bear to the correct vet.

Smeeton says she thinks it’s all due to the fact that she’s had issues with the government in the past. In 2018, Smeeton argued that Alberta’s rewrite of the orphaned black bear protocol was misleading, leading the province to be tough on its establishment.

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