February 2, 2009
19 grizzlies died in Alberta last year
Nineteen grizzly bears were killed in Alberta, Canada, last year, a number Canadian wildlife experts worry further endanger the threatened bruins' survival.
Six grizzlies were killed after it was determined they posed risks to humans. Six more were killed in self-defense, four by road or rail accident, and others by native subsistence hunters, an illegal kill or unknown reasons, the Calgary Herald reported Monday.
There's no specific reason as to why this year was any different from last year or the year before -- besides that it's just a natural fluctuation in the data, said Darcy Whiteside, spokesman for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.
It's not natural, of course.
Robert Barclay, a University of Calgary biologist and grizzly expert, said last year's rate is
a worrying number. However, the long-range effect on the bears' population was hard to project, he said.
Carl Morrison of the group Action Grizzly Bear said the total may even have been higher because some deaths go uncounted. He said the province needs to do more to protect the grizzlies and foster their comeback.