IBBR's Education Campaign is a Priority for 2015
A message from Valerie LeBoeuf
Although IBBR cannot presently take cubs to schools or public events, IBBR has presented educational programs in the local community for many years, and we have made an additional focused effort over the last three (3) years to reach even more members of the world-wide community through participation in public events, professional conferences, and through outreach using social media and electronic mediums.
It's time for the second phase of the "IBBR CUB CAM" Project!
Our plan is to provide live video feed on the web, recorded video presentations, and webcast opportunities with live video feed to schools, students, zoos, libraries, wildlife agencies, wildlife rehabilitators, biologists, animal organizations, and bear projects around the world.
We will present our programs world-wide and expand our efforts to share information regarding the rehabilitation and release of bears, the habitat needs of bears, and how others can get involved to protect bears and their wild environment.
Our budget of $60,000 for 2015 includes: All costs (staff, equipment, travel and supplies) for our classroom, professional, and general public education/outreach efforts; production of additional and specific program videos for the classroom, the general public, and professionals; and, our efforts to make being BearWise the standard throughout the state of Idaho.
- to enrich the lives of students, by providing a unique addition to their general educational curriculum
- to enhance the lives of the general public by providing a unique opportunity to not only educate, but to encourage stewardship of bears and their environment
- to offer a unique opportunity to wildlife professionals by providing guidance, technique, and example in real-time and recorded format, with the intent that the knowledge gained can be applied to their specific field of work
- to collaborate with other organizations working to rehabilitate and release the American Black Bear in the United States, and other organizations working to restore threatened bear species around the world, by sharing the experiences of our rehabilitation program, with the intent that the information can be adapted and applied to their own specific program efforts.
Please help us make this happen in 2015!
Mark your contributions - EDUCATION 2015
Thanking you always for your support!
When the Idaho Black Bear program started in 1989, we were in the country. Today, we are sandwiched between housing developments. Although our 2.40 acres have been sufficient in the past, we have only one chance left to keep us from being surrounded. The property to our West is still pasture and undeveloped. However, our neighbor is pressured constantly to sell for new housing projects. Although IBBR considered moving when the last housing development came in, Sally decided it was to our advantage to stay where we are.
There was a strong reason to stay in this location for the bears. For so many years it was believed bears couldn’t be raised by humans and successfully released. There are still a limited number of rehabilitators working with bears. However, when you have Ben Kilham raising orphaned cubs in the ideal setting of the New Hampshire woods and Sally Maughan raising cubs between housing developments in Idaho, it very definitely says something about the myth that bears can't be raised by a human and successfully released.
Purchasing this property is a chance to provide displaced wildlife with a small haven from the huge amount of habitat lost to the housing developments. It also means we won't have houses on all sides of us, and would give us the room to develop other areas of the bear program, such as education and perhaps hosting extended visits by interns, biologists, students, etc. At today's price for acreage in this area, it is a huge pipe dream to imagine we could afford to buy those six acres at a cost of $40,000 to $50,000 an acre. We have one very strong thing in our favor. Native Americans say if you have bear medicine, you have the power of introspection. With the power of introspection you can make your dreams and goals a reality. We definitely have plenty of bear medicine!
We transport bears in heavy metal carriers that weight approximately 70 lbs each. When state wildlife agencies bring bears they use the same type of carrier. Getting the carriers off the truck to moved the bears into the enclosures is a back-breaking work. It takes a minimum of two people to maneuver the carriers off the truck bed to the cart below. When we release bears the carriers with the bears inside can weigh up to 260 lbs. It takes several people to accomplish the job. For the safety of the people and the bears involved, IBBR needs to get a heavy duty crane to help load and unload the carriers.
Cost of the truck crane is $1500 including accessories and installation expenses. See website for more information on the four foot model.
Golf Cart To Move Supplies
People often leave donations of fruit or dog food at our front gate. It’s a long haul back to the bear enclosure storage sheds. We have worn out several carts and pulled a few muscles trying to haul the food back over gravel and grass or muddy ground. A golf cart would allow us to move the food, stop wearing out so many carts, and save our backs.
Small Cub Transport Carrier
Cubs usually don’t try to escape the plastic vari-kennels we use to transport them from out of state to IBBR, but once in a while you get that cub who is determined. Transport team Larry & Teri Limberg are very experienced at transporting cubs, both inside the truck and outside on the truck bed. However, you can imagine the nightmare involved if a cub were to actually break the door or side panels of the plastic vari-kennel and escape into the cab of the truck. We nearly had that happen a year ago so now we are looking for an aluminum transport crate similar to the one you see on the truck bed above. That one is used for transporting yearlings that are big bears. We are looking for one similar in size to a medium plastic kennel made of aluminum with some modifications to insure the cubs stay inside for the several hours of driving to IBBR. With the necessary adjustments, costs will vary from $500-$800 including shipping. We can also use this transport carrier when transferring cubs of the year from smaller enclosures to the next larger one and finally to the main enclosure.
We also need to build another long haul transport carrier just like the one above on the transport truck. We have 3, but our truck will hold 4. When we are transporting yearlings back to their home state for release in can get too warm for 2 bears to be crowded into each carrier. A 4th carrier would allow us to transport 4 bears comfortably for the long drive home. Cost for a welder to build the larger transport carrier will be approximately $1500 depending on any labor or materials donated.
For both projects, if we can find a welder in the Treasure Valley who could donate some or all of the labor, it would save money to put towards bear food. IBBR would pay for any materials not donated.