Sasha, formerly known as Slash, will spend the rest of his years at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rosseau.
“Animal Welfare Services reached out to us last fall,” said Linda Glimps, Executive Director for Aspen Valley. “They were looking to rehome Sasha, and knew that we provided forever homes to native wildlife that cannot be released.”
Sasha was given his own enclosure of around an acre when he arrived in Nov. 2022. It allowed him to settle in and explore his surroundings, including a pond and natural areas to hibernate in.
“I’ll never forget when he came out of his den this Spring,” said Janalene Kingshott, Director of Animal Welfare. “He had clearly never seen so much snow before and wasn’t sure how to navigate it. He literally took to doing the army crawl for a few days.”
However, the transition from Niagra Falls to Rosseau wasn’t a simple one. According to the sanctuary’s website, they are home to five other bears. They were introduced to Sasha through the fence line of their enclosures. Since then, he has become close friends with three-year-old Clover and her mom Honey Pot.
“It was an incredible moment watching Clover enter Sasha’s enclosure, and the two getting to know one another,” said Kingshott. “Today, they can be seen enjoying each other’s company, and even sharing the occasional meal.”
After it was clear Sasha fit in with the other bears at Aspen Valley, Glimps says they reached out to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Animal Welfare Services to formally adopt Sasha.
Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is located on 460 acres in Rosseau. Its goals are to rehabilitate animals in hopes of returning them to the wild, provide permanent homes for wildlife that are unable to be returned to nature, and educate the public about how to live alongside wild animals like Sasha.