Wild Bear Rescue Set to Make TV Debut
Smithers, B.C. – A new 12-part television series is set to chronicle the important work taking place at the Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter in Smithers.
Wild Bear Rescue will debut Friday June 23 (7 p.m. Pacific) on Animal Planet (Omnifilm Entertainment) and will show Angelika and Peter Langen caring for over 40 at-risk bear cubs prior to being released back into the wild.
So, what finally prompted the show after running the shelter for 27 years?
“Well, it’s been a couple of years now that various production companies have approached us and wanted to do something with the wildlife shelter but because a lot of the ideas for the show ran along the line of a reality show it wasn’t something for us,” says Angelika.
“So, when Omni came along they had a different idea – they just wanted to document what happens on a day-to-day basis so we signed up to that last year.”
She says production ran from May 2016 all the way through to late fall until the bears went into hibernation. She adds all the filming didn’t turn out to be much of a distraction at all.
“To be honest within the first week or so we totally forgot about them. They are so unobtrusive and they just worked quietly in the background. It wasn’t a problem after all. I was really amazed.”
Angelika says things went so well filming has already begun on season two of the series – that despite the fact she hasn’t seen any episodes from the first season yet.
“I haven’t seen the final product – with all the music and magic that they do to it. So, I am looking forward to seeing it. I’m hoping that we’re achieving our goal of educating the public and promoting co-existence with wildlife.”
And how is that record number of bear-cubs from last year holding up?
“They’re doing really well. We’re getting ready to release them in June. We’re just planning all the release sites and then they’ll all go back into their own territory so that they’re not mixing up genetics and populations.”
Angelika says it’s hard to say if this year will end up as busy as last.
“We didn’t get the early bears that we had last year which was very rare and unusual. We’ve never had that many that early so I’m kind of glad that we didn’t because it’s a huge workload on us with so much bottle-feeding,” she says.
“We just have two, which is the normal number we get heading into the season. There will be more coming though but hopefully not as much. In the wildlife shelter you’re always hoping the animals don’t need you because that means there’s conflict and that their mothers have died and that’s something nobody wishes for.”