hi-black-bear-garbage-whitehorse

A black bear feeds on garbage near Whitehorse. The town of Norman Wells, N.W.T., says it's planning on replacing the electric fence around the community's landfill after eight bears were shot and killed at the dump this summer.

The town of Norman Wells, N.W.T., says it's planning to replace the electric fence around the community's landfill after eight bears were shot and killed at the dump this summer.

The electric fence that's supposed to keep them out of the dump, and from rummaging through the town's garbage for food, has fallen into disrepair and doesn't work.

Judy McLinton, spokesperson for the N.W.T. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, says the bears that were destroyed were a threat to public safety. She said it's not unusual for eight to 10 bears to be destroyed in a season in Norman Wells.

"You will see bears walking down the street pretty much every year," said Nathan Watson, deputy mayor of Norman Wells. "It's almost a bit of a spectator sport that the oilfield guys do after work. They would drive up and observe them."

Watson says killing eight bears is too many.

"When they start having to destroy several bears, it starts to become a problem and something we should do something about."

The town will replace the electric fence around the dump this fall. Husky Oil donated the equipment.

Corrections

  • The original version of this story incorrectly identified Nathan Watson.
    Sep 03, 2014 12:28 PM CT