Hudson’s Hope RCMP say a black bear cub rescued during an investigation and arrest in June is thriving at the Northern Light Wildlife Society in Smithers.

The cub was found caged on a Farrell Creek property June 9 when RCMP arrested a local man in connection with several thefts. Detachment commander Cpl. Rob Gardner says the cub, since named The Rock, is doing well and living with 10 other cubs at the sanctuary.

“He’s the biggest bear in the reserve that they have over there,” said Gardner. “He’s eating beside another bear the same age. He’s pretty big.”

The detachment is working out details with the society to raise funds and put a radio collar on the cub for when he’s released next year, Gardner said. 

Justin Thibault, 25, faces a long list of charges as a result of the seizure, including firearms and possession-of-stolen property charges, dangerous operation of a vehicle, break and enter, and wildlife charges.

The search of the property also found several illegally stored and stolen firearms, seven stolen vehicles including pickup trucks, ATVs, and motorcycles, medical gear, tools, and other items.

Thibault is next scheduled to appear in provincial court on Aug. 10.

Meanwhile, an injured fawn that was recently brought into the detachment has died, despite efforts to nurse it back to health at a local wildlife preservation ranch.

RCMP officers do not receive any formal animal training, and Gardner said the RAPP line remains the primary resource for the public to report wildlife issues.

The hotline runs 24 hours a day at 1-877-952-RAPP.

Tom Summer / Alaska Highway News. Email Tom at