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Young black bear found dead north of Debolt

Alberta Fish & Wildlife officers are investigating the death of yet another bear in the Grande Prairie region. This time, a young black bear between the age of 1.5 to two years was found dead on Highway 676 north of Debolt.

The discovery follows the shooting deaths of two grizzly bears south of Grande Prairie in mid-September. In this case, however, spokesperson Brendan Cox says there’s no evidence of a gunshot wound or any hunting violation.

“Its jaw was destroyed and its front right leg is shattered. This bear might have hit by a car, but we are investigating so we’re encouraging anyone to phone us if they know anything more.”

It’s believed the bear was living on its own at the time of its death. Its remains were reported to the province Thursday night, and based on discussions with hunters in the area, Cox says it’s likely it had been there for three or four days already.

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The first grizzly bear found was one-year-old female at kilometre 42.5 of the Weyerhaeuser Road on September 15th. The second was an adult male found on the Red Rock Road, roughly 60 kilometres away, on September 19th.

In both cases, they suffered from a single gunshot wound. Cox says since the word got out about their deaths, Alberta Fish & Wildlife Enforcement has received a lot of information from the public.

“People have been reaching out and that’s certainly appreciated. It is helping, and we would like to thank everyone for doing that.”

An update on the status of each investigation couldn’t be given, but Cox notes it can take a long time for wildlife officers to prove what happened. Anyone with information on the black bear’s death is asked to reach out to the Valleyview district office at 780-524-3605 or the 24-hour Report-A-Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.

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