[Environment] DISASTERS: FIRE : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : COUNTRIES: CANADA : TOURISM AND TRAVEL : ANIMALS: BEARS: Black Bears Scavenging Empty Fort McMurray

 

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DISASTERS: FIRE :

ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

COUNTRIES: CANADA :

TOURISM AND TRAVEL :

ANIMALS: BEARS:

Black Bears Scavenging Empty Fort McMurray

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Black Bears Scavenging Empty Fort McMurray

‘The absence of people may actually embolden these bears to be in places they haven’t been before’

By Mack Lamoureux

CBC News

Posted: May 20, 2016 9:20 PM MT

Last Updated: May 20, 2016 9:20 PM MT

CBC News

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/black-bears-fort-mac-1.3593045

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The list of challenges facing Fort McMurray evacuees when they return home is a long one.

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Now it looks like they will have to add a four-legged bother to that list: black bears.

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For weeks now, thousands of houses have sat empty soaking in the heat. Food in the homes have been rotting, sending off strong aromas to the creatures who just had their habitat destroyed by the wildfire and the bears have been making their way to the city.

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Lee Foote, a professor of conservation biology at the University of Alberta, said that Fort McMurray is a “bear aware” city.

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But right now, the relative emptiness may cause the animals to roam further into the city than they normally would to scavenge.

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“The absence of people may actually embolden these bears to be in places they haven’t been before and possibly habituate to garbage more readily than in previous times,” said Foote.

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“Now, they’ve had free rein and may actually have become entitled.”

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Currently, Fish and Wildlife officers are patrolling neighbourhoods looking for signs of bear activity. If they find any signs traps will be set and the bear will be removed from the area.

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Foote said when people return, some bears will instinctively leave as humans act as a natural deterrent, but it’s the animals that have been habituated that worry Foote.

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“I worry about the second generation of bears. Cubs that are with their mom come out and learn about this free smorgasbord and they may have it imprinted in their mind ‘Well, we’ll seek out this food next year,'” he said.

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“It’s really hard to untrain a garbage eating dog, a garbage eating bear, an aggressive dog, an aggressive bear and we might not have the time or the resources to do it.”

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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