Famously curious Bear 148 killed by hunter in B.C.
Bear 148, who earned a name for herself by wandering into the townsites of Banff and Canmore before being relocated farther north, has been shot and killed.
WATCH: Video sent to Global News shows Bear 148 relaxing and munching in grass.
In an emailed statement on Wednesday, according to the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) said the bear was shot and killed by a hunter after she wandered from the protected area of Kakwa Wildland Provincial Park. Y2Y said she was shot legally.
The organization said it’s not known if she was pregnant with her first cubs.
Bear 148 was translocated to a location 500 kilometres north of Canmore in July after a week of “daily” human encounters.
WATCH: Parks Canada has confirmed it received notice that the Bow Valley’s popular Bear 148 was shot and killed by a hunter in B.C.
It was hoped the bear would settle in to the area, make a new home and have her cubs there.
Bear 148 was captured multiple times before her translocation, and made a name for herself within the Bow Valley for her hundreds of encounters with humans.
WATCH: Naturalist and former superintendent at Banff National Park Kevin Van Tighem joins Global Calgary to discuss why grizzly bear 148 seems to have no fear of humans.
Most notably, she followed a woman kick-sledding with her dogs along the Spray River Loop and tried to join a high school rugby practice in Banff.
Y2Y said the bear’s death speaks to the challenges facing grizzlies in both Alberta and B.C.
“For grizzly bears to recover from their threatened status in Alberta, we’re going to have to accept limits to development and growth in places like Canmore,” Stephen Legault said in a release.
“This loss highlights the challenges we face when it comes to grizzly bear recovery in Alberta.”
Kevin Van Tighem, former superintendent of Banff National Park and author of Bears Without Fear, called the shooting death a failure.
“We’ve basically failed that bear on several levels,” he said.
“It’s a real unfortunate event. This was a good-natured bear that demanded respect and didn’t push boundaries and you could live beside and thrive around.
“We couldn’t find it in ourselves in our collective ability to put up with any kind of risk and now she’s had her life wasted from somebody who didn’t really need to kill her.”
WATCH: Global News anchor Scott Fee talks to Kim Titchener of Bear Safety and More about the death of Bear 148.
Parks Canada said in an emailed statement that Bear 148’s death “underlines the need for more collaboration across jurisdictions to coordinate wildlife and people management at a landscape level.”
The provincial Environment and Parks department said its top priority was the safety of Albertans and that staff members “worked hard to provide the best chance of this bear’s survival given its history.”
Spokesperson Murray Langdon said moving Bear 148 to the remote area in northwest Alberta followed several unsuccessful mitigation efforts.
“We will continue our work to prevent such conflicts from occurring – these actions will help reduce the need for relocation of bears,” he said in a statement.
WATCH: An online petition to save one of the Bow Valley’s most famous bears is gaining traction online. Gary Bobrovitz reports.
Y2Y went on to describe the Bow Valley as one of the most densely populated places in the world with a significant population of grizzly bears, adding the death underscores the threat they face and the need for conservation measures beyond park boundaries.
“Y2Y reiterates its request that the Alberta government conduct a cumulative impacts assessment of all major development in the Bow Valley, including the Three Sisters proposals, before further growth is allowed,” the statement reads.
“We need to ensure that grizzly bears can roam through the Bow Valley before we allow any more major development. 148 has taught us that.”
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