Grizzly bear captured in Calgary to be relocated by Alberta Fish and Wildlife
Bruin caught in trap late Thursday was taken to a Fish and Wildlife warehouse in Cochrane
Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers are assessing a large grizzly bear trapped on a residential property near Griffith Woods Park in southwest Calgary with plans to release the animal back into the wild.
The bear was taken to a Fish and Wildlife warehouse in Cochrane on Friday morning, said Trevor Miller, superintendent for the department's southern region.
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The bear, a 155 kg mature male, was caught in the trap the night before.
"We'll tranquillize the bear, assess its overall health then make a decision on where it's going to go," he said.
A spokesperson for the Government of Alberta says the bear will be released Saturday in the Nordegg region.
Griffith Woods Park was closed Tuesday after at least five people reported a run-in with the bruin in recent weeks.
Among those was Tresa Gibson, who came face-to-face with the bear while out for a run with her dog last week.
Miller said officials can't be "totally 100 per cent sure this is the bear," but added it "is a high probability."
"I think this is just a wake-up call for everybody to realize that we are in bear country here and everybody has to be diligent with best-bear practices and being aware of their surroundings and taking precautions."
The trap was set up on Scott Allred's property, near a crab-apple tree the grizzly had been feeding from.
"It's good to see him go," Allred said. "It was only going to create problems for everybody around here, and for the bear. So it's the best thing for the bear, to get out of here to where he's going to be safe. Hopefully he doesn't come back because apparently they can travel a long ways."
Another trap remains in the park, and trail cameras have been set up, which will allow Fish and Wildlife officers to determine whether the trapped bear was the only grizzly frequenting the area.
A black bear was also seen a few kilometres to the west overnight Thursday, said Miller.
Allred heard the trap get sprung about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, leading to a sleepless night.
"I felt bad for the bear but I did my dance, I was happy," he said. "He was really banging it around, and it was going on for hours. It was nice to see he had settled down this morning."
Having lived there for 17 years, Allred said this was the first time he'd seen a bear in the area.
"They travel looking for food, and just south of us there's a beautiful greenbelt corridor," said Miller.
"I think they're probably just reclaiming typical territory they used to have. We have some areas not too far from here, to the west, that we know has resident grizzly bears all the time, and we're just seeing them encroach a little to the east."
Relocating bears in the fall can be a challenge as that's the time bruins naturally start getting ready to spend winter in a den.
"We're having quite a mild fall," said Miller. "We put them in the best habitat possible. Hopefully they're going to like the area, there's a food source to hold them there and they're going to find a suitable den location … so they don't have to expend a bunch of energy."
Miller said Fish and Wildlife will now work with the City of Calgary to formulate a plan to reopen the park.