Animal Planet Announces Date for Series Profiling Smithers Wildlife Shelter

A documentary TV series, focusing on the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers, is set to begin airing in just over three weeks.

The specialty channel "Animal Planet Canada" has announced that the first episode of "Wild Bear Rescue" will be shown on June 23rd -- and Society co-founder Angelika Langen says it'll give viewers a real understanding of the challenges faced in rehabilitating wildlife.

Angelika and her husband Peter have gradually been gaining international fame for their success at rehabilitating injured or orphaned wildlife and then returning the animals to the wild.

And that fame is likely to take another big leap as their Smithers-based Wildlife Shelter is featured on the Animal Planet Series.

Angelika  is returning to Smithers from a visit to Germany, and while in Vancouver, she  spoke by satellite with Bell Media's CP24 in Toronto, and said operating the shelter is a labour of love.   

"It definitely is -- a big family affair;  both our son and daughter are involved and then we have a whole group of incredible volunteers that make this happen so it's not something we can do alone," she told host Steve Anthony.

Langen says the shelter currently has 40 bear cubs, and since they arrive at different stages of development, her staff have to be adaptable. 

"We get them as early as February so they're still in the den so they're about two-and-a-half pounds or they can come in the fall and they come in at 50 pounds so it's different ages and different sizes that come in all the time," she said.

Produced by Omnifilm Entertainment, "Wild Bear Rescue" is meant to be as realistic as possible, and to show the successes -- and the heartbreaks -- involved in trying to rescue and rehabilitate bears.  

The series premiers June 23rd on Animal Planet.