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Fish and wildlife officers put down habituated bear in Canmore area

Habituated black bear put down by officers in Canmore
WATCH ABOVE: Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers put down a black bear earlier this month after it had become accustomed to a neighbourhood in Canmore. Joel Senick reports on the lesson that wildlife experts hope is learned from the outcome of the situation.

A black bear that had become habituated in a Canmore neighbourhood was recently put down by fish and wildlife officers, according to a provincial government official.

“Fish and wildlife officers first received reports of black bear sightings in the Peaks of Grassi area on Friday, April 26,” read a statement from Dan Laville, a spokesperson with Alberta Justice.

“On May 1, fish and wildlife officers captured one male black bear in the area.”

READ MORE: Bears spotted in Canmore neighbourhood prompt garbage disposal reminder

The black bear had been previously captured and relocated in August 2018, however, Laville noted that bears “that are severely food-conditioned may return, or be attracted to another human-populated area.”

Fish and wildlife officers made the decision to put the bear down because it presented a serious risk to public safety, according to Laville.

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“Bears that show this sort of behaviour are at an increased risk to injure or kill someone,” the statement read.

Often, bears who get into human food will keep coming back to the area, according to Cheryl Hojnowski, the executive director of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley.

She said the situation serves as a reminder for both visitors and residents in Canmore to be bear aware when it comes to the area.

“The big message is for people to care of attractants here in town, both natural and unnatural attractants,” Hojnowski said.

“Make sure to secure your garbage, clean your barbecues, make sure there’s no grease on the barbecues… don’t leave your pet food out.”

Bear safety protocol is something that Mandy Johnson said she follows and takes seriously. Johnson lives near where the black bear was recaptured earlier this month and even took a photo of him on her wildlife camera that’s mounted on a tree behind her Canmore home.

“It’s really sad… it would be nice to think that we could live responsibly and in harmony with the bear and the other wildlife,” Johnson said Thursday.​

“If push comes to shove, it’s the bear that ends up paying the consequences.”

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