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Parks Canada kills black bear at Waterton

A young black bear was euthanized by Parks Canada staff last week after reports it bit unattended backpacks, ripped open a tent and rumaged through garbage in Waterton Lakes National Park.

A black bear that showed increasingly aggressive behaviour toward humans was euthanized last week in Waterton Lakes National Park.

Parks Canada closed trails and backcountry campgrounds in the Bauerman Valley, accessed from Red Rock Canyon Day Use Area on July 10 after receiving reports of a food-conditioned black bear that bit unattended backpacks and made contact with a tent while occupants were inside.

A few days after the closure was in place, a black bear ripped an unoccupied tent set up by Parks Canada team members.

Parks Canada later received reports and observations of a young black bear obtaining garbage and other attractants at the Red Rock Canyon Day Use Area.

The bear entered the busy day use area looking for garbage and leaned on a vehicle with people in it.

Parks Canada determined it was the same bear between incidents at the backcountry campground and the day use area parking lot.

Due to the black bear’s excessive level of habituation, food-conditioning, and that it presented a risk to public safety, Parks Canada wildlife experts euthanized the animal on the afternoon of July 20.

Parks Canada said in a new release this action was taken after  considering all other options for keeping the animal on the landscape.

Parks Canada in a news release said it promotes the coexistence between people and wildlife.

Parks Canada works to prevent this type of situation by educating park visitors and residents, providing bear-proof food garbage bins and food storage facilities, researching and monitoring wildlife, and engaging in compliance and enforcement efforts.

Parks Canada has observed garbage left out at picnic areas, along trails and sitting next to waste bins.

People are advised that bears are active on the landscape and visitors and backcountry campers in Waterton Lakes National Park must stay alert, keep food and garbage secure, never feed wildlife, dispose of garbage in the containers provided or take it home, give wildlife space, and respect all warnings and closures.

The public and visitors should report bear sightings of concern and all unsecured food and garbage immediately to Parks Canada dispatch at 1-888- 927-3367.

A bear warning remains in place for the Bauerman Valley in Waterton Lakes National Park.

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