Fish & Wildlife officers are looking to speak with anyone who may know something about a young grizzly being shot south of Grande Prairie. The shooting was reported to Alberta’s Report-A-Poacher line midday on September 15th after the one-year-old female was found under a barricade at kilometre 42.5 of the Weyerhaeuser Road.
Alberta Fish & Wildlife Enforcement spokesperson Brendan Cox says the animal had a single gunshot wound. It’s believed it had been shot a few hours earlier as rigor mortis had not yet set in, and that it was standing at the time.
“Investigators believe that it was shot and killed at the location [where] it was found, rather than being moved there from somewhere else,” Cox explains.
The circumstances of why the bear was killed are still unclear. Cox notes that it’s possible the carcass could be kept and preserved as evidence.
“The fact that the bear is small in size and given the location that it was found, it would lead us to believe that the bear likely wasn’t a direct threat to the shooter, but at this time we are still gathering information.”
A bear as young as this one would typically still be living with its family unit, Cox explains. However, officers did an extensive search of the area and couldn’t find any signs of a mother bear in the area.
“We can say for sure that we didn’t find any other animals that were hunted or shot in the area,” says Cox, “but whether or not this bear was alone we can’t say for sure.”
It has been illegal to hunt grizzlies in Alberta since 2006, as they are classified as a threatened species, and all reports of grizzly bears being shot in the province have to be investigated. Information on this shooting or any other can be given through the Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.