Say Goodbye to Chubby!

Wow! What a week!

Off the bat, I have to say what an honor and privilege it was to serve with the Tumbler Ridge Search and Rescue on the weekend. Some fellow decided to take a walk in Monkman Park and never came back so we searched through the night and all the next morning! The team was very well organized, dedicated, tenacious and we got the guy out alive and well on Sunday afternoon. Well done guys (that includes Crystal), two claws up!

After a lot of work, two dozen cans of sardines, three boxes of molasses, one bottle of vanilla, four dead ducks, a bag of apples and the hind quarters of elk, we finally convinced bear 0337 (who I nick-named Chubby) to come and stay in bear jail. He was captured on Saturday morning and, after we examined him, we translocated Chubby 150 km south of town. We feel pretty certain that this was the bear who was displaying some questionable behavior around town. He?s back where he belongs now. Bye Chubby, we?ll miss ya.

Thanks to all the people who called me with their bear sightings. Keep those calls coming – 242 0004.

I had a good read over the article that someone submitted last week *?10 myths about grizzly bears? and I found it quite interesting. Although I feel there is room for debate on certain points, it is true that hunting does not have a significant impact on the Grizzly population, currently estimated at around 17,000 in BC.

The issue surrounding hunting is more cultural than biological in that people on the whole are not in favor of grizzly hunting including the vast majority of hunters I have spoken with.

The threat to our grizzlies is habitat encroachment. That?s why they are a species of concern. Grizzlies don?t like being around humans (they think we?re dangerous) and will only den in old growth forests so as more and more of their habitat is harvested for natural resources, they find their place in the world rapidly diminishing.

At one time, the grizzly populated Canada as far east as Manitoba and occupied the entire western half of North America. We have extricated the grizzly from these areas and reduced it?s original range to about a quarter of what it was.

If anyone (hunter, anti-hunter, regular citizen, etc) feels strongly about our grizzlies and is interested in their conservation, I would suggest putting all their energy to good use by lending their voice to the groups that are working hard to preserve the grizzlies habitat.

Cougar sighting: I spotted a young cougar the other day on Mackenzie. It was still spotted which means mom is still around too. Eyes open all and keep your small children close at hand.

?Till next week, bear with me.

*www.bearsinbc.com site content (technical input) was provided by Ray Demarchi, retired BC Chief of Wildlife and Carol Hartwig, M.S.c. Ecodomain Consulting. The material for the website was originally published in print form by the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia.