A big bear cub at the Winnipeg Zoo has had his collar ripped off by a keeper, after a dispute over who was responsible for removing it.
Zoo officials said they took the cub’s collar off the collarless female bear because it was unhygienic and she could not tolerate the odor.
She also refused to allow him to sit with her cubs and tried to separate the cubs from their mother, according to a statement released Monday.
“She felt it was inappropriate for the cub to have any interaction with her,” the statement said.
“She was extremely upset, and she was very upset that a staff member had done this.”
Zoo animal control officer Lisa Avila said the cub was removed after zoo staff found it was causing “an enormous amount of stress to the cub.”
She said the staff took the collar off because the cub would not accept it and the cub needed to be separated from its mother.
“The cub was taken from the enclosure by a female zoo staff member and was immediately taken to a veterinary clinic for an evaluation and care,” the zoo statement said, without providing further details.
The zoo’s public relations director, Jeff Calkins, said the situation is “completely isolated” and the zoo is “trying to work with the zoo to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”
Zoos across Canada have been hit with a series of cases of bear attacks and thefts in recent months, with one cub in Winnipeg being snatched and killed earlier this month.