The male sibling grizzly bear spotted near Fireside in Cochrane on June 17 has been euthanized, while the female was hit by a semi truck between Canmore and Cochrane.
The bears at that time were breaking into chicken coops and causing public safety concerns in the Cochrane area, in response the bears were relocated farther west into the mountains.
Paul Frame, Provincial Carnivore Specialist, Alberta Environment and Parks, says the male bear that was euthanized recently came back to the area again.
"This individual bear then wandered back into some acreages in the cochrane area, and again was breaking into chicken coops, displaying very food conditioned and human habituated types of behaviour," he says. "For us public safety is our primary driver in these situations, and we use our grizzly bear response guide to help guide our response to these types of situations. The response guide considers the sex, age class of the bear, its conflict history, and what type of behaviour it's displaying that's caused the concern. That grids out in a chart, and recommends a response to a situation."
It was determined in this situation, due to a second occurrence of livestock depredations on the chickens, from a sub-adult male bear, the recommendation was to euthanize it.
Frame explains the Alberta Environment and Parks Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan could be contributing to increased human-wildlife encounters.
"I think the increase in this types of occurrences is one of the objectives, and kind of a consequence of grizzly bear recovery. These were sub-adult bears that were dispersing from their mom and looking for a territory to settle in, and then they ran into Cochrane and the acreages and found good food sources. It leads to a conflict which often doesn't end well for the bear, or the people involved. As we see an increasing population responding to recovery efforts, we're seeing more of these types of incidents."
Alberta Environment and Parks stresses how important it is for people living in acreage areas to think about things on their properties that bears may consider food, and secure them as best they can.