A number of Steinbach residents reported seeing a seemingly orphaned black bear cub near Steinbach on Monday. 

These reports were circulating on social media and also made their way to Judy Stearns, Owner of Black Bear Rescue Manitoba. She notes “I've been getting quite a few people contacting me and telling me about this.” 

Unfortunately, there is not much that Stearns can do at this point. However, she explains what residents should do if they come across a black bear like this.  

“I wouldn't recommend anyone approaching a bear ever. Just make a note of which direction the cub went in case Manitoba Conservation is going to go out to look for it, they will know what direction it went. If you are out walking just leave the area, and if there is any worry about it being an orphaned cub or any concern about a bear, I would just recommend calling conservation.” 

In this case, Manitoba Conservation was notified. If they can determine that the cub is orphaned and they are able to catch it, Stearns says there is a high likelihood that it will end up at her rescue. 

“They're generally born in January, actually the second week in January is most common, and it can be a little earlier, a little later, so right now I would say this cub would be four months old. It's very young so it has a very slim chance of surviving on his own, so we would be expecting that cub would be brought to us.” 

Stearns says they have minimal physical contact with the rescue bears they treat. 

“We only handle them as much as absolutely necessary. By handling, I mean actually touching them and that would only be when they're very young and they need to be bottle fed, when you have to touch them in order to feed them. We're hands off, minimal contact, we want to keep them wild because ultimately, they have to be returned to the wild.” 

So far, Stearns says it doesn’t sound like conservation has been able to locate or catch the cub that was seen near Steinbach.