Bear 148. (Parks Canada)

Hunter knew grizzly was wearing tracking collar before killing it in B.C.

The popular grizzly, known as Bear 148, had been moved to Jasper and wandered across the border

The hunter who killed a notorious female grizzly bear in B.C. after the bear wandered into the province from Alberta knew the animal was wearing a research tracking collar, but shot it anyway.

The Alberta government had moved the grizzly, known as Bear 148, in July from its home range in a popular developed area west of Calgary to a remote park north of Jasper to protect public safety.

The grizzly, which is a threatened species in Alberta, hadn’t hurt anyone but had gotten too close to people too many times around the Canmore and Banff area.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said the bear was shot on Sunday in the McBride region by a non-resident hunter who was with a guide.

“The guide and hunter knew that the bear was collared prior to harvest,” the service said in an email. “This was a legal hunt and no investigation is underway.”

No information on the hunter was given.

Last month, B.C. announced it would end the grizzly bear trophy hunt as of Nov. 30, saying it is inconsistent with the values of most British Columbians.

READ MORE: Miley Cyrus joins campaign to fully ban grizzly bear hunting in B.C.

READ MORE: Grizzly bear trophy hunt to end Nov. 30

Brett Boukall, a senior wildlife biologist with Alberta Environment, said data from Bear 148’s tracking collar suggests the grizzly had not been a problem before it was killed.

“It was kind of being the perfect bear doing bear things away from people,” he said. ”To my knowledge, there had been no reports of any conflicts.”

After the bear was relocated in July, it wandered around its new range in the northern Alberta wilderness.

The tracking data suggests it crossed into B.C. on Friday after a storm dumped snow in the region, perhaps making it more difficult for it to find food, Boukall said. It was wandering toward the Fraser River when it was shot.

“Myself and my colleagues felt disappointed that this has occurred, but at the same time recognized that this is something that is a part of being a bear in today’s busy landscape with the ability for legal harvest on the B.C. side,” he said.

Conservationists are concerned about the death of Bear 148, which was nearing the age to have cubs.

Candace Batycki of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative said the fact the bear had to be relocated from its home range in the highly developed Bow Valley west of Calgary shows how difficult it is for grizzlies to survive.

Batycki said more must be done to protect them.

“Bear 148 was not in a protected area when she was killed but she was in grizzly bear habitat,” she said. “Her death highlights the need for collaborative cross-border conversation between B.C. and Alberta.”

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips called the death of Bear 148 a case of bad timing.

“The new government has not moved forward with their regulations yet because they are new and the grizzly hunt remains legal across the border in British Columbia.”

There are about 700 grizzly bears in Alberta. It has been illegal to hunt grizzlies in the province since 2006.

John Cotter, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Need to catch up on news? You’re covered

Every Saturday the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

Big White board school among best

Director of snow sports, Josh Foster, is one of the top instructors in Canada

Seniors prefer funeral to lifestyle planning

Survey finds 73% of seniors have a will, only 13% have long-term care plan

Okanagan College business students soar

Medal winners at Western Canadian Business Competition

UBCO civil engineer touts cohousing option

Gord Lovegrove says cohousing is sustainable social and economic lifestyle

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read