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 catamaran had a pleasant surprise when they saw a mama bear, Blondie, out and about with her triplets.

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

(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.

Blondie was part of the trio born in the sanctuary 13 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.

The grizzly bear sightseeing voyage runs until the end of July, right before whale-watching season begins in August.

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
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