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Garbage blamed as 145 bears shot in Alberta’s north

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Questions are raised about the management of garbage after 145 black bears were shot by wildlife officers in the northern region of Alberta last year's oil sands.

More than half were killed in camps in the oilsands region of Fort McMurray.

Companies that manage the camps must manage their waste better, Nigel Douglas of the Alberta Wilderness Association told CBC News.

"They should be required to have fencing and bears away from waste," he said. "There should be a core practice that make every business, and certainly the government should be monitoring these camps and make sure they do what they are supposed to do. And if they are attracting bears, make sure that companies clean up their act or face charges. "

However, 51 bears were killed on residential properties.

Hilda Ivanco had a few surprise visits to recently bear outside his apartment in downtown Fort McMurray.

"A bear came out of the bush," she said, adding that she spotted just in time to prevent a passerby. "And I shouted, 'Excuse me, there is a bear."

Provincial review to focus on waste management

This is not the only one she saw - three bears tend to cling to a dumpster nearby - but Ivanco said they are not exactly unwanted guests.

"People [were] throwing food and dog feed bears, encouraging them to come back," she said.

Alberta Sustainable Resources Minister Frank Oberle said the government will review why bears were shot both in the region. The government review will focus on what he calls "waste management", such as landfills and landfills transform into bears' main food source.

But for now, Ivanco has a clear message to its neighbors.

"Do not feed the bears," she said.

-Reprinted with permission from

Tags: AP, CBC, EDMONTON, Hilda Ivanco

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