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Wildlife group frustrated as regulations prevent rescue of bear cub outside Calgary
Published Wednesday, October 4, 2017 9:57PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 5, 2017 7:17PM MDT
An injured black bear cub in a farmer’s field west of Calgary city limits remains at the mercy of the elements and other animals as provincial regulations hinder the efforts of a local wildlife rescue agency.
According to local residents, the animal has been in the field near the intersection of Springbank Road and Highway 22 for at least 10 days and walks with a noticeable limp. There have been no sightings of the cub’s mother leaving many to believe the bear has been orphaned.
Rob Evans, who lives in Redwood Meadows, heard of the bear’s predicament and went to see for himself. “I was able to tell that the left hind leg is definitely injured and it is favouring that leg quite a bit.”
Evans, an amateur photographer, captured stills and video of the cub in an attempt to garner support for the injured animal.
“I wanted to go and record this and hopefully get someone to help the bear,” said Evans. “Whether it’s putting down the bear, which I don’t want to see, or capturing it and letting it heal properly over the winter for a release in the spring when it’s better, if that’s possible, I wanted to record it.”
“It’s just a stronger emotion for people if they can see what the bear is going through.”
Officials with the Cochrane Ecological and Wildlife Society say they have the facilities and experience to help the cub but Alberta regulations prevent private rescue groups from capturing, treating and releasing bears and other large mammals.
On Friday, Evans recorded the black bear cup fleeing from an advancing coyote. Evans says its unlikely predators would kill the animal but he fears the oncoming winter could get the best of the injured animal. “Just letting it freeze or starve to death during the winter doesn’t seem right.”
Alberta Fish and Wildlife officials say they aware of the black bear cub’s predicament but believe it is best to allow the animal an opportunity to recover naturally as long as it remains mobile and capable of feeding itself.