Last summer, there were 26 black bear cubs in the Fraser Valley area who had lost their mothers and were starving; some were even eating plastic bags and metal cans.
One by one they were taken to the Critter Care Wildlife Society, an animal rehabilitation centre in Langley.
On Dec. 11, the adult students from Delta Community College (DCC) gave these bears a Christmas present. A month prior, while in English class, a group of students saw a newspaper article about the bears.
The students were saddened to learn that four bears died within the first 24 hours of being rescued and the rest were on the brink of starvation. Touched by the story, they decided to help the bears by collecting food for them.
“First, we contacted Critter Care to get information about the food the bears needed. Then we organized a donation activity to collect apples, pears, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli for the starving bears,” said Sumera Saeed, a student at DCC. “Many students and teachers responded with passion and compassion.”
The students packed the boxes of fruit and vegetables into a car and delivered them to Critter Care Wildlife Society. The number of bears in care had risen to 32 by this point. All of the bears have names – the smallest bear is called Tiny Tim.
“As we are reading A Christmas Carol in class, we now know what this bear’s name means,” said student Yiqing Mao.
The bears are now doing really well. In the spring, the plan is to relocate them back to their habitats.
“We really hope these bears will grow healthy and strong and will be able to live happy lives,” said student Guanqun Ding. “For all of us, it was an amazing experience. We feel great because our food collection and volunteer work have made a small impact on the animals’ lives.”