Saturday, 21 May 2016

Bear habitat destroyed in Alberta by fires

The only material from Alberta, Canada that I could find on You Tube relating to bears was killing them.

Hungry black bears descend on Fort McMurray

20 May, 2016

With their habitat destroyed by northern Alberta’s raging wildfire, hungry black bears are now moving into the evacuated city of Fort McMurray to scavenge for food.

What we’ve got is tons of spoiling food inside houses in the heart of prime black bear range,” University of Alberta conservation biologist Lee Foote told CTV News on Friday. “You couldn’t create a better potential to attract black bears from a large area... and there are a lot of black bears in the area.”

Although the number of bears that have entered the city remains unknown, YouTube footage has surfaced of the animals scavenging through burning debris. Residents are expected to begin returning to the city on June 1.

It hasn’t played out to be a big problem yet because we don’t have a lot of people in Fort McMurray,” Foote says. “But when they return and have their hands full with cleanup and fixing up, they need to keep watching over their shoulder.”

Black bears, Foote says, are typically non-aggressive, with attacks on humans being extremely rare. But that doesn’t mean that Fort Mac residents should be blasé about their furry new neighbours. If encountering a bear, Foote says that you should make sure not to corner the animal, get between it and food or startle a mother with cubs. Rotten food, he adds, should only be disposed of in properly-sealed metal bins. Local authorities should always be called in for help.

The Fort McMurray folks are really quite bear aware,” Foote says. “But this is going to be a different type of emboldened, entitled bear -- if you will. They have had free reign of the place for a while, it’s prime fattening-up season just out of hibernation, and it could be a problem.”

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