Biologist wants to shelter an injured bear, but Alberta can’t ‘entertain’ the request
A wildlife biologist who hopes to build a temporary shelter for an injured bear spotted west of Calgary more than a month ago said the animal is a “poster child” for a bigger issue.
“The bottom line is the problem with [government policy],” Lisa Dahlseide told Global News. “That policy bans the rehabilitation of black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, cougars, coyotes, lynx, bobcat, bighorn sheep, elk, all bats and all amphibians except northern leopard frogs.”
She said the policy is to euthanize such animals when they’re orphaned.
“This black bear issue – he’s just the poster child for this bigger issue,” she continued.
“I think the only reason why they didn’t euthanize him is because he is so public.
“But otherwise, all other orphans, including threatened grizzly bears, are euthanized.”
Dahlseide said she’s emailed the government to try to obtain permission for a temporary shelter for the bear – which is a loophole around schedule A that she says allows for rehabilitation.
“The government has given us temporary shelter permits in the past…for lynx and bears,” she said. “In the past, we didn’t have to ask for it; they’d just drop us off with animals and supply us with a temporary shelter permit.”
READ MORE: Concern grows over injured bear near Calgary
The biologist said a nearby landowner is willing to put up a “built and ready-to-go” shelter up so the bear could recover in a safe environment. She suggested predator fencing would allow him to fatten him up for the winter.
“We would really like to work in partnership with [the Alberta government] to go about this as ethically and clean as possible,” Dahlseide said.
Watch below from Nov. 8: Experts say concerned citizens actually putting injured bear at risk. Jill Croteau reports.
Alberta Environment and Parks said her request is not one they can address.
“The department did receive email correspondence from Lisa Dahlseide requesting permission to construct a temporary, artificial shelter; however, since the bear is not on public lands, the government is not in a position to entertain such a request,” executive director of communications Murray Langdon wrote in a statement to Global News.
“The government continues to monitor the bear asks the general public to please keep their distance to better enable the bear to den on its own for the winter.”
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.
“Public empathy may not be best reason to save a bear, but I think it’s a good one,” Dahlseide said.
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