Bear 148 moved from Bow Valley to remote area north of Jasper
6-year-old grizzly moved for the 2nd time this month after encounters with people, this time out of Bow Valley
Bear 148 has been removed from the Bow Valley, transported by helicopter to the remote Kakwa Wildland Provincial Park north of Jasper.
The troublesome, collared bruin — which has had a number of high profile run-ins with hikers in recent months — was captured near Canmore on Friday and released in her new range on Saturday.
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"The final incident was on Thursday, a jogger was out and encountered the bear at close distance, she came even closer — this is the incident up to one metre — the jogger tried to deploy his bear spray, but was unable to get the safety off," said Paul Frame, the carnivore specialist for Alberta Environment and Parks.
"She did not make contact with him, but at that point, given the frequency of these encounters, we decided that it was time to move her from the Bow Valley for public safety reasons."
In early July, the six-year-old bear was also trapped and moved. She was relocated to the western edge of her home range in Kootenay National Park after charging a person walking with a stroller and a dog on a leash west of Canmore.
But a few days later she was back, spotted at the Sunshine turnoff area in Banff National Park.
Earlier this year, the wayward grizzly wandered onto a field during a high-school rugby practice in Banff, followed some hikers and chased a woman who was kick-sledding.
The province has warned that if the grizzly exhibits aggressive behaviour toward people in provincially managed areas, officials might resort to killing it.
In response, Bow Valley residents started a petition calling for the animal to be spared, which has garnered more than 24,000 signatures.
Minimize contact with humans
Frame said the decision to move her was not taken lightly, particularly after trying so hard to keep her there, including the removal of buffalo berries from areas around Canmore, closures, warnings and cross-agency cooperation and monitoring between Alberta Parks and Parks Canada.
Kakwa was chosen because it's difficult to access, with no roads into the park.
"The thinking of moving her there was to give her a good chance of survival and to minimize the chance of continued conflict with humans," said Frame. "This type of behaviour is pretty concerning and we didn't want it to end in a tragedy."
Bear 148's collar will continue to be monitored to ensure she doesn't get close to human developments.
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With files from Diane Yanko