Bear 148. (Parks Canada)

Hunter knew grizzly was wearing tracking collar before killing it in B.C.

The popular grizzly, known as Bear 148, had been moved to Jasper and wandered across the border

The hunter who killed a notorious female grizzly bear in B.C. after the bear wandered into the province from Alberta knew the animal was wearing a research tracking collar, but shot it anyway.

The Alberta government had moved the grizzly, known as Bear 148, in July from its home range in a popular developed area west of Calgary to a remote park north of Jasper to protect public safety.

The grizzly, which is a threatened species in Alberta, hadn’t hurt anyone but had gotten too close to people too many times around the Canmore and Banff area.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said the bear was shot on Sunday in the McBride region by a non-resident hunter who was with a guide.

“The guide and hunter knew that the bear was collared prior to harvest,” the service said in an email. “This was a legal hunt and no investigation is underway.”

No information on the hunter was given.

Last month, B.C. announced it would end the grizzly bear trophy hunt as of Nov. 30, saying it is inconsistent with the values of most British Columbians.

READ MORE: Miley Cyrus joins campaign to fully ban grizzly bear hunting in B.C.

READ MORE: Grizzly bear trophy hunt to end Nov. 30

Brett Boukall, a senior wildlife biologist with Alberta Environment, said data from Bear 148’s tracking collar suggests the grizzly had not been a problem before it was killed.

“It was kind of being the perfect bear doing bear things away from people,” he said. ”To my knowledge, there had been no reports of any conflicts.”

After the bear was relocated in July, it wandered around its new range in the northern Alberta wilderness.

The tracking data suggests it crossed into B.C. on Friday after a storm dumped snow in the region, perhaps making it more difficult for it to find food, Boukall said. It was wandering toward the Fraser River when it was shot.

“Myself and my colleagues felt disappointed that this has occurred, but at the same time recognized that this is something that is a part of being a bear in today’s busy landscape with the ability for legal harvest on the B.C. side,” he said.

Conservationists are concerned about the death of Bear 148, which was nearing the age to have cubs.

Candace Batycki of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative said the fact the bear had to be relocated from its home range in the highly developed Bow Valley west of Calgary shows how difficult it is for grizzlies to survive.

Batycki said more must be done to protect them.

“Bear 148 was not in a protected area when she was killed but she was in grizzly bear habitat,” she said. “Her death highlights the need for collaborative cross-border conversation between B.C. and Alberta.”

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips called the death of Bear 148 a case of bad timing.

“The new government has not moved forward with their regulations yet because they are new and the grizzly hunt remains legal across the border in British Columbia.”

There are about 700 grizzly bears in Alberta. It has been illegal to hunt grizzlies in the province since 2006.

John Cotter, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Parents still seek clarity for future of Victor School

Motion avoided to remove special needs Victor School from boundary review proposal

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Head of Victoria homebuilders says provincial budget won’t solve housing crisis

Casey Edge of Victoria Residential Builders Association dismisses more modular housing as a band-aid

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

Most Read