Baby bears chewing on litter near Highway 93 raises concerns
Photographer Jason Leo Bantle worried the trash can habituate the wildlife to human food
Another wildlife photographer is warning of the dangers facing bears in the national parks because of human behaviour.
Recently CBC reported on a video posted on YouTube that shows a couple feeding a black bear out of their vehicle.
- Feeding pepperoni sticks to a bear 'isn't good,' Parks Canada says
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- Black bear hit, killed by vehicle on Trans-Canada Highway
Now photographer Jason Leo Bantle says trash in the ditch by Highway 93 is proving to be an irresistible draw for a grizzly and her cubs this week.
"These bears being near the roadway, if they are finding little treats — as we may call it — then they can end up frequenting the roadway more, and of course with the high speed of traffic we end up having situations where bears get hit," he said. "I think we know the mortality statistics that we are losing a lot of bears along roadways in Alberta."
Bantle says he has also seen the cubs chewing on and playing with litter.
One cub spent a lot of time with an empty sardine can, which he says can habituate them to human food.
On top of the litter problem, Bantle also says he has seen families with children getting way too close to the animals in order to take pictures.
"You should not be getting out of a vehicle," said "I saw a couple with five- or six-year-old children basically 40 yards from this bear taking pictures out of their vehicle. You know, that's a very dangerous situation."
He says parks officials have been on scene cleaning up the garbage and trying to manage the human interaction.
But it puzzles him why so few people are getting the message about being safe around wildlife.
Kootenay National Park put out a warning about the mama bear and her two cubs spending a lot of time near Highway 93 earlier this week.
Motorists are urged not to stop and feed the bears, and to slow down in areas where they are spotted.