SUDBURY -- In July, a mother bear was killed after being struck by a car in front of the Garson arena, leaving behind her two cubs.

Two city gardeners, Heidi Koncz and James Bennett, created a garden 100 feet from where the mother bear was hit. They say with each garden they create, they try to find a design that will also send a message to the public.

In this case, the garden shows the mama bear carrying her two cubs.

“I wanted to show that there’s still a bond between the mother and the cubs," said Koncz. "So, having her still carry them with her and having all the hearts there to keep them connected.

“I think people just need to be more aware of the bears in the neighbourhood. Everyone finds they’re a nuisance, and really, they are just little animals that we need to respect in their environment.”

Koncz said the garden took four days to complete.

“You have to give it a good rake, make sure there’s a nice profile so everyone can see the design on a nice visual from the road, then we have to lay the fabric and then I just have to create an outline and put the design together,” she said.

For 28 years, Bear With Us Centre For Bears has been rehabilitating black bear cubs or injured bears and returning them to the wild.

Orphaned cubs are doing well

On July. 2, the centre received a call about two cubs in the same area where the mother's body was found.

“A police officer attended the scene and saw some cubs,” said Mike McIntosh, founder of Bear With Us Centre for Bears. "He called the Sudbury District Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and a very experienced beer technician -- Brent MacDonald -- went out and captured the cubs immediately and then called me and I met him part way to pick up the cubs."

Once the bears arrived, they were placed in the centre's special care facility.

“Because they are very traumatized (after) losing their mother, and you can see it in their face and their behaviour,” said McIntosh.

Within eight weeks, McIntosh said the cubs improved immensely.

“The cubs are doing excellent," he said. "Those two cubs are in an enclosure with a total of nine cubs, so they have seven little friends with them.

“What helps them improve a whole lot is that they are very sociable animals, so when we introduce them to other cubs in a large enclosure, they become part of the animal party and they wrestle and play and chase each other around and have a great time.”

The centre said the cubs will be returned to the wild next summer once the berries ripen and natural food is readily available for them.