January 16th, 2021

Destroying young bear unnecessary

By Letter to the Editor on August 28, 2020.

As an avid wildlife observer I was dismayed by the decision of park officials to destroy a young black bear classified as a “risk to the public” despite the fact the bear was “conditioned” by the public. Ironically, the public are the “risk” to the wildlife that habitat within the national parks.

The show of ignorance by the public visiting parks is shameful and despicable. I have witnessed a man removing dentures from his mouth and rinsing them in the children’s water park in Waterton; an individual throwing out garbage from a moving vehicle in the Red Rock Canyon/Crandell area; cigarette butts along the lake shoreline; dog excrement and garbage on trails; paper towels strewn in public washrooms; deer being hand-fed ice cream; and currently, a young black bear destroyed due to inconsiderate, selfish people feeding the bear and leaving garbage uncontained, not disposed of in waste receptacles.

Park officials should be focusing their attention on protecting the wildlife and preservation of the parks through monitoring inappropriate behaviour, law enforcement with strict and harsh fines. Law enforcement is particularly significant due to increased wildlife in close proximity of the townsite due to forest fires and an influx of ignorance from people visiting the park. Alberta should adopt the Rebeka Breder law from B.C. which “acts exclusively for advancing the rights and welfare of animals both domestic and wildlife.” If people cannot respect and preserve nature, they should not be given the privilege of witnessing raw nature in its beauty and splendour.

The decision to destroy the young bear was inconsiderate and unacceptable. The bear could have easily been relocated to one of 21,324 mountains that exist in Canada.

In summary, wildlife should not suffer due to the lack of consideration and integrity of humans. Humans forget too easily that the national parks are the habitat of wildlife and we are infringing on their territory. I may be only one voice, but I am the voice of all that is “supposed” to be wild and free.

Charlotte George


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Southern Albertan

We visited Waterton Lakes National Park on Tuesday, August 18th. We will not be going back until ‘off season.’ There were way too many visitors for the size of the park, garbage as mentioned above, distancing and masking not being done properly, the erosion by the bridge at Red Rock Canyon is terrible….so yes, we feel the ‘overvisitng,’ lack of consideration and an abundance of ignorance is contributing to a very negative effect on the flora and the fauna, let alone the appearance of a ‘concrete jungle’ within the townsite itself. It is definitely starting to, not, feel like ‘Our Waterton.’ anymore, sadly. We left the park sooner that day than we would usually do. We also wonder whether this ignorant, slob behavior, as mentioned above is done ‘at home’ or whether the park is seen as an area as a licence for this bad behavior. We definitely feel that limiting visitors at high volume certain times and more supervision of the park along with ‘fines’ or whatever, might be suggestions. Is this falling by the way because of funding cutbacks to the national parks or do visiting restrictions need to be revisited by the national park system, particularly this ‘little’ park?


excellent letter and appreciate the replies from so.ab and jpn. just leaves me feeling sick, and cannot understand how still so many among us are damn louts. also reinforces the idea that so much more useful info could be shared in schools, and there is room for that, as we still focus on whole lot of rubbish info.

John P Nightingale

Sadly, the easiest option is to “kill”. Sedating and removing this bear would have been the reasonable approach but given the abundance of the species , the attitude is simply dispose in the easiest possible way. A National Park should be a sanctuary for all wildlife, rather than the “special ones” .
An animal this age would have adapted quite easily elsewhere and if it didn’t make it, at least it was given a chance.
As the writer has stated and even park officials , the fault is not the bears it is US.


So says John P. Nightingale. However, when it comes to PEOPLE, he thinks the BEST and easiest option for suffering is to euthanize them!

Seth Anthony

Rain cloud indeed. Rain cloud of the brain.

John P Nightingale

I assume you say this because of my support for MAID.
Let me be very clear, I support MAID in times of extreme suffering and terminal illness and you are very wrong to suggest I support the procedure because it is the “easiest” option. And BTW, the bear was not ill, not terminal and had a healthy, future life ahead of it. It was euthanized because it was a “nuisance bear” pure and simple. As with humans, if an animal is terminally ill, suffering greatly and being kept alive solely for those who are living , it should be euthanized. The difference between the two scenarios is that humans must give their consent .
Get your facts correct before issuing completely false statements and drawing wrong conclusions.

Last edited 4 months ago by John P Nightingale

it is worth considering how a city like sudbury deals with bears. they get plenty of visits from bears looking for food. if the bear is not aggressive, they let it be. people must keep waste secure. and people must be responsible for getting out of the bear’s way. seems alberta just loves to find reasons to shoot and destroy?


ugh! do you not think your comment is perhaps a little juvenile? seems rather dishonest.

Last edited 4 months ago by biff