Meet The Wildlife Expert from Animal Planet’s WILD BEAR RESCUE Who Takes Care of Cubs for a Living

— June 21, 2019

**Warning – The following article contains “beary” cute photos of black bears**

From nurturing newborn cubs to sheltering moose calves from their predators, the task never seems too large for rescue shelter owner Angelika Langden, whose never-ending passion helps bears and other animals get a second chance at life in the wild.

Season 3 of WILD BEAR RESCUE, airing Fridays at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on Animal Planet, follows Angelika and Peter Langden, founders of The Northern Lights Wildlife Society located in Smithers, B.C. As one of Canada’s only shelters for orphaned bear cubs, the shelter has been open since 1990 and nurses dozens of young bear cubs each year, treating minor injuries to major traumas, so that the cubs may one day be released into the wild.

We recently spoke with Angelika about the challenges of rescuing and releasing cubs, how she feels about being on camera, and some of her favourite moments from the new season:

Q: You accomplish more in one day than most people do in one week. What’s a typical day like on the job?

AL: “That really depends on the time of year, but generally I start around 6:00 a.m. with feeding and cleaning, have breakfast with my husband at 9:00 a.m. and then am out all day or in the office until dinner at 6:00 p.m. After dinner there is usually more evening feeding to get done.”

Q: Expand on the rescue to release process. How long do the cubs stay in your care? How many cubs are you able to care for at a time? 

AL: “We have currently room for up to 60 black bear cubs and five grizzlies. Their length of stay depends on arrival time. A cub coming to us as a newborn in February will stay for 16 months. One arriving in December will only stay for seven months. All will be released in June of the following year regardless of arrival time.”

Q: What is one of the biggest struggles you face working in this industry?

AL: “Trying to convince government that rehabbing wildlife is a valuable management option. It’s a difficult issue, but one I am very passionate about.”

Q: What factors go into making the difficult decision of whether an animal can recover and ever survive in the wild?

AL: “They have to be healthy and very mobile to be released. As to whether an animal can recover, we often have to just hope for the best. They have amazing healing power and still surprise me after all of this time.”

Q: What can viewers look forward to seeing this season? What’s new?

AL: “There are some amazing rescues and great recoveries. We had to deal with one of the harshest winters on record, and it kept things interesting. But I don’t want to give too much away, people just have to watch and discover for themselves!”

Q: What other kinds of animals does Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter take care of this season?

AL: “We always have a variety of baby animals in our care-- birds, elk, deer, moose. It never gets boring.”