09 September 2005

Definitely Debbie Downer

Sarathena and Natasha -- this story just keeps going on and getting worse and worse. It is so sad that animals end up being the victims of human intrusion into hinterland ecosystems -- places that people's homes and transportation routes really shouldn't be, all due to someone's greed and people's desire to live 'in the wild' away from other people, when all that is in fact happening is that they are building huge suburbs in the middle of nowhere that are susceptible to natural forces (e.g., natural grass/forest fires that destroy homes built in these areas, but really shouldn't be there) and where the animals of these ecosystems are involuntarily exposed to human activity. Particular to this story is that this route is an essential link for Canadian transportation, and even though many measures have been taken to protect the wildlife in the Banff/Lake Louise area, many animals are still being killed every year by cars and trains on this small section of the Pass through the Rockies. We find it essential, I guess the migrating animals do too and that's where the problem lies.

Orphan bear cubs killed by cars

The deaths of two orphaned grizzly cubs, killed by cars on the Trans-Canada Highway, has pushed the number of bears killed in Banff National Park to five since June -- almost one-tenth of the grizzly population in the park. The sole surviving cub of the two collisions near Banff late Wednesday night is being tracked for capture, destined for temporary quarantine at Calgary Zoo and an uncertain future. "Six bears out of the park this summer - that's 10 per cent of the population," said Tracey Henderson of Grizzly Bear Alliance, adding she was "heartbroken" by the deaths. The two cubs - one male, one female - were hit by two vehicles on the Trans-Canada Highway near Banff. The third cub, a male, was not injured. The cubs, less than a year old, were orphaned three weeks ago when their 10-year-old mother, Bear 66, was killed by a CPR train near Castle Junction. They had been closely monitored by Parks Canada staff, but their chances of survival had been put at less than 5%. It is thought the two cubs slipped under a fence beside the highway. The section of fence is older, and does not have an apron beneath the ground to prevent wildlife from travelling beneath it despite several years of lobbying to have it improved. Jim Pissot, of Defenders of Wildlife Canada, said the cubs' deaths came as little surprise, but defended the decision not to capture the cubs. "These aren't simple issues, they are complex issues with lots of factors. And it's not a simple solution. It's a solution that involves every driver in Canada's parks, every hiker in Banff, every person that puts out a barbecue in a campground, right up to the prime minister in terms of the funds available for park management."
(Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Globe and Mail 050909)


Mrs The Experience said...

I am going to have to stop reading your stuff. This is just awful, Deb.

Reid Dalgleish said...

This story just keeps getting worse and worse.

Reid Dalgleish said...

Apparently they've captured the last orphaned male and it is going to be taken to a bear refuge in Kicking Horse, B.C. It is now at the Calgary Zoo