Alberta Campers Fined $172 for Poor Etiquette
A black bear that had be destroyed in Alberta's Kananaskis Country over the weekend after getting too close to campers serves as a solemn reminder for outdoor users to keep food out of reach of wildlife, conservations officers say.
“This is really sad and unfortunate. We’re there to protect people and protect wildlife, not destroy it,” Randy Axani of Kananaskis District told the Calgary Herald.
“People need to remember they’re in bear country. As such, there is a responsibility to put things away and be conscientious of where they are.”
The 4-year-old female bear wandered into campsites in the E and F loop areas of the Mount Kidd RV Park at around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. The animal discovered a mesh dining tent with food that had been left out.
“By the time I got into the F loop area, people were banging on pots and pans and yelling at the bear,” Axani said.
The bear was able to tear a hole in the mesh and grab a loaf of bread. The bruin was about seven yards away but scampered off a short distance when Axani yelled at the animal.
When the conservation officer returned with a long arm 30 seconds later, the bear was back, this time only five yards away, and it refused to budge. After several unsuccessful attempts to ward it off, the bear was killed.
“When we have a bear not backing off or yielding to people, that’s a bear we unfortunately have to remove for public safety,” Axani said, noting the campground was full at the time. “The last resort is to destroy a bear.”
The campers, a group of four families with about 25 people in total including children, were unharmed. They were evicted from the property and the site holder handed a $172 fine.
“They were new Canadians and their intent was not to bring a bear or attract a bear to the site. The message was received by them and they were apologetic and felt terrible,” Axani said. “Hopefully they learned from the experience and will pass that onto their friends and to anyone else about what happened and why people need to be careful.”
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