CO Service euthanize emaciated black bear

The animal had left its den and taken shelter in a shed with cattle.

File photo

A young black bear that left its den has been euthanized by the Conservation Officer Service (COS) due to its poor health.

Early March, the COS responded to a call concerning a black bear complaint north of Sparwood. The animal had left its den and taken shelter in a shed with cattle.

The COS described this as very irregular behaviour and, as a result, the bear was tranquilized, so that it could be assessed for any health concerns or injuries. Upon investigation, the COS discovered that the animal was extremely emaciated and in such poor health that the difficult decision was made to euthanize it.

There have been no other reports of problem bears to the COS this season, according to Conservation Officer Patricia Burley. Both the public and biologists have determined that grizzly bears have been awake and roaming for quite some time after tracks and sightings were reported. They encouraged residents to always make lots of noise and carry bear spray when recreating around town or in the backcountry.

“We would like to remind the public to always keep their attractants stored inside the house, garage, shed or taken to the transfer station to avoid attracting bears,” said Burley.

This includes garbage bags, recycling and garbage cans, as well as bird, dog and cat food. Burley explained that it is a violation under the Wildlife Act to keep garbage and/or attractants available for bears. Failure to comply can result in a $230 to $575 fine.

Report human-wildlife interactions to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

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