Cal­gary griz­zly cap­tured and will be re­lo­cated

Medicine Hat News - - COMMUNITY-WEST -

CAL­GARY A griz­zly bear that had res­i­dents in a south­west Cal­gary neigh­bour­hood look­ing ner­vously over their shoul­ders for the past week has been cap­tured by fish and wildlife of­fi­cers.

The bruin’s ar­rival led to the clo­sure of Grif­fith Woods Park af­ter the bear was spot­ted by a jog­ger and four other res­i­dents of the area.

Al­berta Fish and Wildlife of­fi­cers had placed two traps in the park and the an­i­mal en­tered one of them early Fri­day.

“They are go­ing to be as­sess­ing its health and then from there they will de­ter­mine where the best place to take it would be ... where it has the best chance of sur­vival,” said Bren­dan Cox, spokesman for Al­berta’s Fish and Wildlife En­force­ment Branch.

“No­body was hurt. Hope­fully we can con­firm the bear is in good health so it’s cer­tainly our in­tent that it will be a pos­i­tive out­come for this bear. The re­lo­ca­tion ul­ti­mately is for its safety as well.”

Cox said the ma­ture bear is be­ing tagged and will be re­leased Satur­day in the Nordegg area.

This lat­est bear-hu­man en­counter comes af­ter an­other Al­berta griz­zly was shot by a hunter in B.C. af­ter be­ing re­lo­cated from the Can­more and Banff area to a re­mote park north of Jasper.

The Al­berta gov­ern­ment had moved the griz­zly, known as Bear 148, in July af­ter it had got­ten too close to peo­ple too many times.

Cox said the Cal­gary griz­zly, which weighs 340 pounds, had been stick­ing mostly to nat­u­ral veg­e­ta­tion but did get into some crabap­ples in one yard.

“It’s used to hu­mans and not nec­es­sar­ily scared of them but it’s not as food-con­di­tioned as some other bears we’ve seen. We do want to give it a chance here and re­lo­cate it,” Cox said.

“We are con­sid­er­ing it a suc­cess. This is what we felt would be best not only for the bear but for the peo­ple in the area as well.”

Griz­zly bears are a threat­ened species in Al­berta and it has been il­le­gal to hunt them in the prov­ince since 2006. About 700 griz­zlies re­main in the prov­ince but they don’t usu­ally show up in places like Cal­gary.

“Black bears, of course, are much more nu­mer­ous in Al­berta in gen­eral and we do tend to see more of them,” Cox said.

“It is def­i­nitely rare to see a griz­zly make it this close to a big city like Cal­gary.”

CP HAND­OUT PHOTO COUR­TESY THE GOV­ERN­MENT OF AL­BERTA

Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta staff mea­sure a tran­quil­ized griz­zly bear’s teeth as they as­sess his health in this re­cent hand­out photo. A griz­zly bear that had res­i­dents in a south­west Cal­gary neigh­bour­hood look­ing ner­vously over their shoul­ders for the past week has been cap­tured by fish and wildlife of­fi­cers.

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