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   Volume 81 - Issue 29 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"We don't want any more studies, we want action."
- Larry Mitchell  
Councillor   
   

 

 
Blairmore Fish and Wildlife Officer John Clarke has had his hands full the past couple of weeks, responding to a number of wildlife calls in the Crowsnest Pass and Pincher Creek areas.
Several residents have called in to report large predators in residential areas, which Clarke has been responding to on his own, as other area officers are on holiday.
“Due to low man power and holiday time, there’s not a lot of staff right now to respond to complaints,” said Clarke. “We’re doing the best we can.”
Clarke said recently there have been several calls reporting black and grizzly bears in Blairmore, Bellevue, and the Lundbreck Falls area.
“We’re seeing a lot of movement by bears right now,” said Clarke, noting that bear activity is usually the highest in September, when they are looking for food in order to fatten up for the winter months.
He said two grizzly bears have been spotted up in the woods behind Bellevue, and one yearling black bear has been spotted hanging around York Creek and along the pipeline in Blairmore several times over the past three weeks.
“He’s been kicked out away from his mother,” said Clarke. “We’ve been working on catching him… he’s so small we have to use a dog trap.”
Clarke said he encourages residents not to feed him, as it will only make the problem worse.
“People feel bad for him, but we don’t want him fed,” he said. “The thing is, they get bigger.”
Another bear, which was reported in the Lundbreck Falls area, had to be caught using a bear trap and relocated to the Oldman area north of Crowsnest Pass last week, after a resident left a garbage can full of bird seed on their deck while on holiday, prompting the three-year-old black bear to take advantage of the easy snack.
 

Clarke said if the bear returns to the area, he will have to be put down.
Unfortunately, Clarke also had to destroy a cougar in the hamlet of Beaver Mines last week.
The week before, the cougar had killed a deer in a yard site, Fish and Wildlife went in and removed the kill and used the Karelian Bear Dogs to chase the cat away.
Later that week, the animal showed up again and killed another deer.
Clarke returned and used the dogs to try and push him out of the area or tree him so he could be tranquilized and relocated.
Instead of fleeing the area, Clarke said the cougar played a cat and mouse game with him, ultimately ending up roughly ten feet from him in a pouncing position.
“When you get behaviour like that, you can’t let him live,” said Clarke. “Even if we move him away, he’ll come back again.”
He said the animal had to be destroyed, as it posed a major public safety concern.
Clarke said he is frustrated that many residents are still failing to comply with the BearSmart initiative and continue to put out bird feeders and leave garbage outside.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Clarke. “Every time we get a bear complaint, there’s a reason why he’s there.”
He said it is unfortunate that human negligence often leads to the loss of an animal, which could be easily avoided.
“The animal pays the price,” said Clarke.
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