Alberta's Grizzlies Coming Out for Spring

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After a mild winter, things don't bode very well for the grizzlies of Alberta. A rancher's wife noticed what looked like a wolf eating on a deer carcass on their property. The next morning the rancher went out to check, and encountered a grizzly bear. He made loud noises to try to scare off the bear, but fresh out of hibernation the bear was not scared off. He charged at the man, who in self defense fired his rifle at the grizzly bear at 18 yards. The rancher faces no charges, since he shot the bear to save his own life.

The mortality rate of the grizzly bear in Alberta is not at a sustainable level. The estimated grizzly population for Alberta is 700 bears with most of them located in the north. In 2008, conservation groups worked on a grizzly recovery act. Some ranchers were burying dead livestock on their ranches, with the recovery act - so an area set aside to take dead livestock, to prevent the bears from digging up the dead livestock. Roadkill was taken higher into bear country as well. The hope was that with these moves, bears would stay out of encounters with humans and stay in "bear country." There have been some positive steps, but it is still not enough.

This was the first reported sighting of a grizzly in Alberta so far this spring. There have been tracks spotted, but no other sightings yet. From