Black bear killed on TCH
An opportunistic black bear that had been repeatedly given a fighting chance by Banff’s wildlife experts was struck and killed on the Trans-Canada Highway just outside the east gate of Banff National Park, Saturday (May 26).
Resource conservation officers in Banff worked hard last fall and this spring to try to reverse some of the young bruin’s behaviour through aversive conditioning, as he liked to snack on crabapples in the Banff townsite.
Steve Michel, a human-wildlife conflict specialist for Banff National Park, said he was disappointed to hear the young black bear’s life had come to a premature end on the highway between Harvie Heights and Canmore.
“We were optimistic that he might be able to turn his behaviour around because he’s just a young male in the stage of his life where he’s trying to figure out a home range for himself,” he said.
“We know it’s difficult for bears to make a living in the Bow Valley and it’s disappointing that he died on the transportation corridor, but unfortunately, not unexpected.”
This is the same black bear that had been previously relocated from the City of Calgary to Hunter Valley near Waiparous last year. He was known as bear 3905.
The bear later showed up in the Banff townsite in search of an easy snack such as crabapples, but was relocated out of Banff to an area near the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch last fall when he kept returning to town.
He was back in Banff earlier this spring and was found feasting in a flowering plum tree in a yard on Marmot Crescent that backs onto a wildlife corridor on May 10.
The bruin, which tried to evade capture by heading up a nearby spruce tree, was captured on site and released not too far away amid an array of rubber bullets, bean bags and noisemakers.
Since then, Michel said, the bear spent most of his time along the Bow Valley Parkway, though it ventured back to the Banff townsite last week where he got into food in a cooler left outside a house on the south side of the river.
“We hazed him out of town again. He left town and spent the rest of the week between the Town of Banff and the east boundary before getting struck on the highway,” he said.
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