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October 27, 2017 5:34 pm

Wild Bear Rescue Set to Make TV Debut

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 @ 5:45 AM

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.

Angelika Langen cares for an injured black bear cub – photos courtesy Animal Planet

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.”

A hungry black bear cub at feeding time

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.”



Definitely a ‘feel’ good move rescuing bears. I would not want to go hiking in the release areas with these habituated bears searching for food and associating humans with food.

It is against the law to feed wildlife, how do these people get a pass on that?

When the show airs the propaganda machine will be in full tilt, feel good types from the city will demand that bear hunting be stopped, all bears be hugged etc. Forget science and nature follow your brainless heart.

Human-bear interactions in the wild will increase with this action, some of these interactions will not be pleasant.

    first of all, these bears are treated in such a way that they don’t become habituated to humans, nor will they associate humans with food. Perhaps you need to watch the show to see exactly what this amazing organization does! They are an approved facility for the rehabilitation of bears, something not just any group can get approval for! Do your research before you start slamming them!

      yes time will tell. food with human sent on it especially introduced food such as apples?

      Bears are not politically correct, they are wild animals and should be left to their wild instincts. These animals will have imprinted on humans as a food source. These bears will be compromised in the wild as they will be dumped off in a territory occupied by other bears, bears are cannibalistic…..these bears may not transition to their wild state in time or if ever.
      Approval !!! a group of humans deciding what is best for the bears is akin to a group of old male ‘crackers’ deciding what is best for women or ethnic minorities.

      Codger, yer right. Just when we seriously need a bear cull, out comes this feel good thing about helping them and releasing them back in to the wild, and yes they will look for a human to feed them. If a bear is injured or sick, let nature take its course.
      We interfere way too much, but when you’re up to your neck in bears or wolves, it’s time to balance it out. Contradictory I know, but we’ve lost populations of wildlife to predators, and scientists agree.

    “It is against the law to feed wildlife”
    No it isn’t. Some yes, but not all.

To Grizzly2, you are so right, we do interfere too much with wildlife. We keep taking their homes and food away from them and then are all too happy to bitch when they move into our space. We will never be “up to our necks in bears or wolves” and there is no need to balance anything out. I have no issue with people hunting if hey are going to eat what they hunt. But to kill an animal so you can stuff it or hang it on your wall is ridiculous and should be outlawed. IMHO

    I agree in part, I kill what I eat, no more, have no use for trophy hunting. In the past three years in an area where I hunt I have seen the moose and deer disappear, replaced by more wolves and bears that I’ve ever seen.

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