Edmonton

Grizzly bear found near Whitecourt, shot in spine and partially paralyzed

Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers are investigating the shooting of a grizzly bear, left for dead southwest of Whitecourt.

'The bear was only able to drag itself by its front paws'

Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers were forced to euthanize a grizzly shot in the spine southwest of Whitecourt. (File pictures/Canadian Press)

Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers are investigating the shooting of a grizzly bear which was left for dead southwest of Whitecourt.

The wounded bear was found on Oct. 20 on the east banks of the McLeod River about 30 kilometres from Whitecourt.

The mature grizzly was shot in the spine, leaving it partially paralyzed. The bear was still alive when officers arrived.

'Difficult decision' 

"As the bear was only able to drag itself by its front paws and suffering, officers were left with the difficult decision to euthanize the animal," reads a Facebook post from Alberta Fish and Wildlife. 

Officers gathered evidence at the scene and interviewed people in the area, hoping someone who was in the area between Oct. 17 and Oct. 20 saw something.

The approximate location where the wounded bear was discovered. (Alberta Fish and Wildlife)

Officers are investigating a similar case near Grande Cache. On Oct. 2, following up on a report of a dead bear, officers found a large male grizzly with a bullet hole in its side, roughly one kilometre downstream of Highway 40 along the Big Berland River.

The bear, found about 65 kilometres southeast of Grande Cache, appeared to have been shot and left for dead a few days prior.

Shooting grizzly bears, a designated threatened species in Alberta, is illegal.

The maximum penalty for killing a grizzly is a $100,000 fine and/or two years in jail.

Anyone with information is asked to call the 24-7 Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800 or file a report online.

Whitecourt is about 180 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

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