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Bear seen outside Elk Point put down because of safety risk

The bear spotted in Elk Point Sunday morning near the grain elevator. It has been captured. Inage credit: Sherida Germain.

A bear spotted outside Elk Point on Sunday morning was put down due to public safety concerns, said Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

Fish and wildlife officers received a call from the Elk Point RCMP requesting assistance on a juvenile male bear that was demonstrating concerning signs of habituation in the town of Elk Point on May 12.

Officers attended and “had to make the difficult decision to put this bear down to prevent safety problems for residents,” said Lisa Glover, seniors communication officer, Alberta Fish and Wildlife in an emailed statement.

“Having a large animal in a developed area is a serious public safety concern, especially when the animal is not shy of humans and willingly approaches them,” said

“The town of Elk Point is not a natural environment for bears and in these situations they look for easy access to human-sourced food, such as garbage, pet food, grains and fruit trees. This ultimately leads to a public safety risk.”

Alberta Fish and Wildlife said that while the health and well-being of wildlife is taken seriously, public safety is the paramount concern.

Fish and Wildlife also recommend tips and tricks to prevent these situations.

  • Store garbage in bear-resistant and odour-proof containers or buildings until it can be removed from your property.
  • Bird feeders should not be used between April 1 and November 30.
  • Smokehouses and animal carcasses, including bones, hides and waste, should be stored in bear-resistant buildings well away from people.
  • Pet owners should not leave pet food and feeders outside.
  • Residents should clean barbecues after each use and keep barbecues in a bear-resistant structure if possible.
  • Residents should consider using an indoor composter.
  • Aerate outdoor compost piles frequently and cover these with soil or lime.
  • Do not put meat, fish, oils and milk products in the compost pile.