Mama bear, Blondie gave birth to triplet cubs 1.5 years ago. They are the first healthy and safe trio to survive in Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary in 13 years, after Blondie’s first set of triplets were killed by a male bear hoping she would go in heat. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

VIDEO: World’s largest grizzly bear sanctuary sees first set of safe triplet cubs in 13 years

Prince Rupert tourists voyaged to Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary and got a special surprise

Tourists aboard the Inside Passage got a pleasant surprise when they saw a mama bear, Blondie, out and about for the second time this season with her triplets.

The boat voyaged to Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary — the largest enclosed grizzly bear refuge in the world — less than a two hour boat ride north of Prince Rupert, on Thursday, July 4.

READ MORE: Twin bear cubs rescued after mom killed in hit and run on Highway

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

 

This is Blondie’s second set of triplets and the first time in 13 years the sanctuary has seen a healthy and safe sibling trio, according to Reinelda Sankey, a seven-year tour guide on the Inside Passage run by Prince Rupert Adventure Tours.

“We are so excited to see how they have grown,” she said. “This is only the second time she came out of hiding this season.”

READ MORE: Prince Rupert marine business adds second catamaran to its fleet

Grizzly bears can have up to five cubs at once, although that is quite rare, with most having one or two cubs per pregnancy, Sankey explained to passengers.

READ MORE: Photographer Dave Hutchison Captures The Natural World

Blondie was part of the trio born in the sanctuary thirteen years ago. Three years ago she gave birth to her own triplet cubs, but they were sadly killed by a male bear hoping Blondie would go into heat for the mating season.

Sankey explained that when a mother bear gives birth, their bodies will not go into heat until they are done breast feeding their cubs. Two seasons ago – May until August – the crew noticed that Blondie would have one less cub by her side as each month went by.

“But this time around we think she is learning from the past,” said Sankey. “She came out much later in the season and we are excited to see that they are safe and healthy.”

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

 

Sankey said the rangers, whom they frequently get their updates from, have not yet named the baby cubs.

Blondie’s babies are only one-and-a-half years old. When they are old enough they will wander off on their own to start their own families in the sanctuary.

Blondie gave birth to her first born less than eight years ago, Big Ears, who is still hiding away from the open shores of the sanctuary to avoid the larger male bears that will sometimes attack adults who are not yet fully grown.

Mama bear, Blondie, gave birth to triplet cubs 1.5 years ago. They are the first healthy and safe trio to survive in Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary in 13 years, after Blondie’s first set of triplets were killed by a male bear hoping she would go in heat. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

 


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland amends procedure for virtual council meetings, adding transparency

During COVID-19 pandemic, meetings have been held using online technology

Summerland to reopen playgrounds and recreational facilities

Some outdoor spaces will reopen on June 1, but arena and aquatic centre remain closed

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

LETTER: Summerland solar project should be reviewed

Questions raised about feasibility of proposed power project

Long-time South Okanagan principal retires, another takes the helm

Jeff Redden will start as principal of Naramata Elementary School in August

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Motor trike crashes into hole in Kelowna

A man was taken to hospital after crashing his trike on Anderson Road

Serious vehicle incident closes Highway 97 near Falkland

DriveBC says an assessment is underway; delays expected

Most Read