There’s a renewed push to help an injured bear cub first spotted more than a month ago west of Calgary.
Advocacy groups and area residents are again calling on the province to allow professionals to step in and assess the cub.
“It’s an inhumane act,” said Michael Howie, spokesperson with animal advocacy group The Fur-Bearers. “We see an injured bear and it makes sense to very simply allow a qualified rehabilitation expert or veterinarian to try and get up close…to examine the bear and determine its injuries.”
But that is against Alberta government policy, which doesn’t allow for the rehabilitation of orphaned black bear cubs.
In a written statement to Global News, the province stands by its decision to let the bear fend on its own.
“Based on our professional experience in these situations, it was determined that the best course of action is not to intervene, but instead to provide the bear the space it needs to recover on its own,” Olav Rokne with Alberta Environment and Parks said.
“We know that keeping a wild animal in captivity exposes it to great amounts of stress which can harm it physically and psychologically; ultimately not being in the animal’s best interest.”
But Howie is calling the province out, saying there’re no hard facts from experts that leaving the cub be is the best answer — or at least none being made available to the public.
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Since nothing has been done to help the bear, some area residents have taken matters into their own hands.
“People becoming frustrated by this total lack of action are attempting to do things like feed the bear which can create new and different problems going forward,” Howie said.
The province is warning the public to steer clear of the bear, saying “human interaction with wildlife can threaten its ability to hibernate and to heal.”
Some 6,000 area residents and concerned citizens have now signed a petition, pushing for the province to allow someone to step in and help the cub.
-with files from Jill Croteau