Bear cub had become a celebrity in rural Manitoba town

The Manitoba government has decided a rescued bear cub, nicknamed Makoon, will be released back into the wild in June.

James Duncan with the province's wildlife branch said officials discussed the fate of the black bear with animal experts and determined he could be rehabilitated and released.

He said the animal will remain at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg for another seven or eight weeks.

Officials will then release the cub in a remote location of the province to boost its chances of survival, since adult male bears tend to prey on cubs.

The cub became a celebrity after a man from St. Malo found him dying in a ditch last month and took him home to nurse him back to health.

Hundreds of people travelled to the home to cuddle the bear and take his photo before conservation officers took him away.

Concerns had been raised about the fate of the animal when conservation officials said he had too much human contact and would not be able to readapt to the wild.

The bear was found March 25 along the highway outside of St. Malo, a community about 70 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

Makoon, a rescued bear cub, stayed at a home in St. Malo, Man., until wildlife officials seized him. (Rachel Walford/CP)

VIDEO Meet Manitoba's celebrity bear cub

Makoon, an Ojibwa word meaning “little bear.”

Responses to "Bear cub Makoon to return to wild (Video)"

  1. This is a note from "Bear With Us Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre for Bears" regarding Makoon:
    "The Manitoba Government wanted Makoon dead at the outset. It appears they still have not changed. To release him in June without any introduction to natural bear foods and at that young age will almost for sure sentence him to a slow death. Their talk about male bears is a red herring. Male bears will be the least of Makoons worries, many other animals such as coyotes, wolves, lynxs or bobcat will have much more of an interest in eating Makoon than another bear. Most likely a slow death due to starvation will be Makoons demise. What is stated in this article does not make sense, any bear expert would know this is not the way to deal with this little bear. More from me later."
    ~ Mike

    This is the petition that is circulating to protect Makoon:

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