We are so pleased that we have finally updated our website and we thank our friends at Elevate Creative, Rich Nickel and Dale Janzen, for surpassing our vision for the new website.
We are indeed gearing up for our 2014 season. We have a great staff ready to make your visit as wonderful as we can. Les Kinnear, our director, will be on hand as always.
Our uber talented team from Great Britain, Claire and Chris Turner will be leading the way and taking the lead on bear care, education and visitor needs. The support team includes Jay Rafael in the gift shop, Kailyn Davenport on the deck, Britley Calkins and young Payton Russell, as a volunteer and eager learner. We hope to bring a few more on the payroll as funding and the right fit come together. Of course, volunteers are always welcome.
The new addition this year includes our less than 1-year-old black bear cubs. If you have been following us, you know that these cubs were rescued late last year after one of the female bears, Smokey, story went viral on the internet and Alaska Department of Fish and Game bent to the pressure and decided to let us keep them.
It is difficult to find permanent homes for cubs. They live a long time and there are orphaned cubs all over the country. We are working on a rehab and release program here in Alaska. Perhaps a pilot program to test the waters. Changing state policy takes some efforts, but we are willing to give it a try. 29 states currently have successful release programs for bears.
We are working frantically to get these new cubs, Smokey, her sister Tuliann and Bandit a new home. We not only have to make it secure for them, so that they stay in their habitat, but we also have to make sure that wild bears do not have access to them. We have had some nice donations to help in the building of that habitat and will have a donor wall up soon. I will post a photo as soon as it it completed.
Meanwhile our 7 year old brothers, Chaik and Killisnoo are fully awake and ready to play. The 5 year old siblings, Balloo, Lucky and Toby didn’t hibernate very long, but their appetite is growing. We are so lucky that we have the local markets and fish processing plants donating, it sure helps us out.
We will be adding to our journal as often as we can and we would love to hear from you as well… come see us in beautiful Sitka!