Volunteers frequently ask about helping with the day to day care of the bears. Releasing bears back into the wild obviously brings into question a different set of circumstances than releasing a fox, a raccoon, or a deer. Bears are very powerful. Not only are we striving to be sure they don't become problem bears after release, we also want them to be wary of people. As cubs, that wariness is naturally compromised to a degree during their stay in the rehab program. They quickly learn the enclosure is secure and they are safe in it. If still on formula, they also identify with their foster mom. It isn't until late in fall that their wild instinct begins to show signs of maturing. For that reason, wildlife rehabilitator, Sally Maughan is solely responsible for formula babies and managing the IBBR program. Sally and the IBBR employees are responsible for the day to day care of the bears once they are moved to outdoor enclosures. IBBR VP, Tom Robb is Sally's back up when needed. They are the only ones who enter the enclosure to feed, clean, and make any necessary repairs - an ongoing challenge with bears. The cubs day to day needs are in their capable hands for the duration of their stay in the rehab program. Although Sally comments now and then she would give anything for one day without cleaning up bear scat, she is resolute in the importance of limiting the bears contact with people.
However, there are other ways for volunteers to help. Each spring we host a Bearly Spring Cleanup. The timing depends on when the enclosure is empty. It might be as early as March or as late as June or July. Volunteers are needed to haul dirt, move logs, plant grass seed, repair dens, inspect the enclosure roof and panels for any weak spots, and rake up dead grass and vegetation. If you are in the Treasure Valley area and would like to volunteer for our spring cleanup, please e-mail us and specify Bearly Clean Spring Up Volunteer. We will contact you when the time comes.
Throughout the summer we have the property to maintain, yard work, mowing lawns, running errands, hauling items to the landfill, picking up supplies, cleaning empty enclosures, hauling hay and a variety of miscellaneous tasks. In fall, we have our Fall Fruit Drive, finding and collecting fruit and acorns from throughout the Treasure Valley for cubs we need to hold through winter. When you e-mail, please specify if you have an truck or automobile, what times of the week you might be available.
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