A mountain caribou calf has been spotted in what remains of the last few animals in the Purcell herd. Three caribou were recently re-located to a maternal pen near Revelstoke says Leo Degroot, a wildlife biologist with the Province. The hope is to move it there as well.

“It’s likely this calf would be from one of the females that was moved into the pen a few weeks ago so it will just be reunited with its mother.”

He further explains, it was mistaken as a yearling male initially.

“It was mistakenly identified as a yearling at first a few weeks ago, but still the plan was to capture it and move it with the others. It escape from the net that was shot over it. That’s our capture method is to shoot a net over from a helicopter and it escaped.”

The female calf was seen with a bull recently and the hope is to capture both animals. Another bull also remains, but is very large and off on its own. Degroot says the plan is to leave it, as males aren’t as important in the renewal of the population and it may cause a lot of unnecessary stress for the animal.

The calf will be some help to population recovery, says Degroot.

“It’ll help out north of Revelstoke where it will be moved to, where we have about 150 caribou, so it’s likely half of those might be breeding females so there might be 75, for example, breeding females, so one more helps out the situation a little bit.”

A captive breeding program isn’t immediately planned, but is a hope for the future.