The lone caribou calf named Grace looks on in curiosity at caribou from the southern herds. This photo was taken when the caribou were transported to the maternity pens earlier this year. They were in the process of waking up. (Photo by B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development)

Last caribou from lower 48 U.S. states released back into the wild

The five southern mountain caribou were released north of Revelstoke earlier this month.

The five mountain caribou from the now two extinct southern B.C. herds were released into the wild earlier this month north of Revelstoke.

The caribou are from the southern Selkirk and Purcell mountains and were relocated earlier this year to the maternal pens along Highway 23N. Those herds are now locally extinct and there are no more caribou in the lower 48 U.S. states.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Soon-to-be-extinct caribou moved north of Revelstoke

Another caribou calf was also released with the five.

“She’s now where she belongs,” said Cory Legebokow, Land and Resource Specialist with the BC Caribou Recovery Program at Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

The lone caribou calf named Grace looks on in curiosity at caribou from the southern herds. This photo was taken when the caribou were transported to the maternity pens earlier this year. They were in the process of waking up. (Photo by B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development)

Last year, wildlife cameras captured footage of bears chasing a lone baby caribou. Biologists named it Grace, after a mountain where her mother came from.

Her mother died last year and to help Grace escape predation the gates to a caribou maternity pen were reopened and the calf sought refuge inside.

The pens were empty at the time, but were part of the Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild project which is now complete. The government is reviewing the data from the project to determine its success and future use. They said a report with findings should be published later this year.

READ MORE: Caribou maternity pen project nears its end by Revelstoke

Until the five other caribou arrived, Grace lived in the pen alone.

The released caribou have met up with the Columbia North herd said Legebokow. The Columbia North herd, which is near Revelstoke was approximately 210 in 1994 and approximately 120 in 2011. The B.C. government said the herd’s population is now stable.

According to the B.C. government, caribou in the province have declined from 40,000 in the early 1900s to less than 19,000 today.

Legebokow said the released caribou have been collared and they will monitored.

“We will wait to see what the future holds for them.”


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Grace, an orphaned calf who called the Revelstoke maternity pen for the last year and a half, takes her first steps into the wild. The caribou in the background is one of the five caribou from the now locally extinct south Selkirk and Purcell herds. (Photo by Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development) Grace, an orphaned calf who called the Revelstoke maternity pen for the last year and a half, takes her first steps into the wild. The caribou in the background is one of the five caribou from the now locally extinct south Selkirk and Purcell herds. (Photo by Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development)

Just Posted

Vandalism hits downtown Peachland mural

Reports state this is the third incident in five months

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Residents experiencing homelessness back outdoors as temporary winter shelters close

Kelowna’s homeless are going back to Recreation Avenue

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

Okanagan College student designs map tracking spread of COVID-19 in B.C.

Sean Heddle says fighting complacency and misinformation is important

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Summerland’s April 1 snow measurements above normal

Measurements taken at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake

Gray: Answering constituents questions on COVID-19

MP for Kelowna-Lake Country Tracy Gray’s latest column

Okanagan Skaha School Board does not anticipate closures

School district budget tight as a result of declining enrolment

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

Most Read