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   Volume 82 - Issue 13 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"We wanted to do something to show our love and support for Shaylee."
- Angie Marra  
   
   

 

 
An adult male grizzly bear was shot in an act of self-defense by a local resident on a rural property northwest of Coleman on Monday, March 19th.
According to Brendan Cox, Public Affairs Officer for the Alberta Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety, the man’s wife observed what she thought was a wolf feeding on the remains of a deer carcass on the property on Sunday, March 18th.
The next day, the man took his firearm and went out to see if the carcass was still there, when he came across the grizzly.
The man began to slowly back away when the bear noticed him, prompting the man to wave his arms and yell loudly in an attempt to scare the bear off, at which point the bear proceeded to charge him.
The bear was 18 metres away when the man fired his gun, hitting the bear in the chest.
“It is unfortunate that this male grizzly was killed but it has been determined that the individual acted in self-defense,” said Cox, adding that no charges will be laid against the man.
Following the incident, a Bear Response Team consisting of Blairmore Fish and Wildlife Officer and Bear Response Team Leader John Clarke, three other Fish and Wildlife Officers from Claresholm and Pincher Creek and the Karelian Bear Dogs attended the property to investigate.
According to Clarke, tracks made in the fresh layer of snow provided evidence for the investigation, allowing the Bear Response Team to obtain precise measurements and paint an almost exact picture of the incident.
“The evidence in the snow shows us everything,” said Clarke, adding that the man did everything he should have in order to dissuade a human-bear conflict.
 

“Clearly he did not anticipate running into a grizzly since there was still snow on the ground,” said Clarke.
“When he came across the bear, he was in an open space and had the chance to back up and wasn’t blocking the bear in any way, but the bear chose not to leave.”
“It’s sad that the bear died but in this case it was totally justified,” he said.
“He did everything properly and if he didn’t shoot, he would have been killed.”
The bear’s hide, which is in near perfect condition, has been salvaged and Fish and Wildlife are currently securing funding to have a full mount made for use for BearSmart exercises and education sessions, which will begin soon, as now is the time of year that bears emerge from their winter dens.
“We advise the public to continue to be cautious when in bear country by following BearSmart best practices and carrying bear spray,” said Cox.
“Anyone with concerns about bear activity or property or livestock concerns should contact their nearest Fish and Wildlife office or the 24-hour Report-A-Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.”
For more information on BearSmart practices, visit srd.alberta.ca under Recreation and Public Use and click on Alberta BearSmart.
According to provincial DNA surveys which were conducted from 2004 to 2008, the current grizzly population in Alberta is estimated at approximately 700, prompting the province to list the bears as a threatened species and develop a Grizzly Bear Recover Plan in 2009.
According to Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, 15 of the 18 grizzly bear deaths in 2011 were human-caused, as were 19 of the 21 bear deaths in 2010.
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