08 november 2012

Kermodei Bear in Kamloops


Photo courtesy of CBC
Clover at the B. C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops, British Columbia

Clover is a rare bear and he's getting a lot of attention.  Rescued twice, once after his mother was killed, he spent last winter in rehabilitation at the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter near Smithers British Columbia.  He got nourished and rested and by July 2012 he was ready to go back to his area in the wild. Rescued again in October, he's now settling into the B. C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops, British Columbia. 

Clover's release back into the wild last summer, went well until an archeological dig set up not far from his territory.  Clover got comfortable again with people, like those who may have been luring him into photo range.  Then, when he broke into a food storage facility nearby, he was in danger of being shot. 

But being a special bear, a "Spirit Bear", as they're also known, a few more telephone calls were made on his behalf.  Angelika Langen, one of the founders of Northern Lights, says his special status is both his blessing and his curse.

Now Clover is back in human care in Kamloops and the park authorities have promised to build a space ideally suited to him next spring.  Zookeeper, Artice Fleck, said, "He's just a beautiful-looking bear and it's just neat to see him. He's actually got a nice gentle personality, it's already coming through and he's starting to get used to us,"

The name "Kermodei" bear is one of several given to the white, or ivory-colored black bear.  This name comes from Francis Kermode, a former director of the Royal B. C. Museum, who rescued a white cub from a man attempting to smuggle it into the United States in 1924. Francis Kermode went on to study the species.  

To hear more about how Clover arrived in Kamloops, Carmel Kilkenny spoke with Angelika Langen.
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