Alberta Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers killed 145 black bears in the oilsands area last year. 121 alone in the month of August. Why? For one there was a terrible berry harvest, so there were a lot of hungry bears looking for food. Then there are the costs of development.
Development comes with a price, there are more companies moving into the territory that has been bear and other wild animal's habitat. Some of these companies are not doing their due diligence with their garbage or other bear attractants, so the bears are coming in for the food they can smell.
Nearly half — 68 bears — were shot in oilsands camps and facilities after being attracted to the camp by food, garbage or other attractants, Whiteside said Tuesday.
Another 51 were shot on residential properties.
No company, or resident had any charges brought against them for improper storage of their food, and other attractants. The high number of deaths has sparked outrage among some Alberta residents. They blame the camps for the deaths, and not properly working on discouraging the bears from coming into the area, and not taking care of their bear attractants. Some camps are better than others. They do have bear proof containers for their trash and food that are inspected.
Last summer bears were trying to get into sleeping quarters and kitchens. The bears were killed to protect the people, as there is a large black bear population in the area.
Conrad Fennema, president of the Alberta Fish and Game Association, said he believes the shootings were necessary to protect people from hungry bears.
“If they are doing it to protect people, I don’t have a problem with that.”
He said as the population of the province grows and people infringe more into bear territory there are bound to be confrontations.
“Can we stand in the way of progress? No, but it is not as though they are an endangered species.” From The Vancouver Sun .