Woman encounters black bear in southwest Calgary: ‘I thought my dog was going to be torn apart’

ByCarolyn Kury de Castillo Global NewsPosted June 27, 2020 4:58 pm Updated June 27, 2020 8:32 pm

WATCH: A woman in southwest Calgary is thankful her dog is still alive after an encounter with a bear on Wednesday. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports.

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Some people living in the southwest Calgary community of Springbank Hill are being a bit more cautious as they walk outside after video of a black bear in the area was captured on Wednesday.

The video shows a bear walking on a front driveway and scampering onto a front lawn and into a treed area.

Stephanie d’Obrenan grew up in Springbank Hill and loves walking her dog Todd there.

“We’ve seen moose here before and never bears,” d’Obrenan said Saturday.

READ MORE: Southwest Calgary residents on alert as bear spotted in area

But on Wednesday afternoon, Todd darted ahead of her while they were walking on Slopeview Drive.

“He goes flying after something. I look and I see these big brown ears and this big brown face and I am like, ‘My dog is going right towards a bear,’” d’Obrenan recalled.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENThttps://4ffefaa3e129f5e476542c1b7698326f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

A black bear popped out of the trees and came within two metres of Todd, according to d’Obrenan.

“I was screaming bloody murder. I was pretty frantic. I’ve never been so terrified. I thought my dog was going to be torn apart and eaten right in front of me,” d’Obrenan said.TWEET THIS

Her first reaction was to save her pet.

“It was absolutely terrifying and I go sprinting after him and I am very aware that I am running towards a bear at this moment. This is probably not the best idea,” d’Obrenan said.

A bear was caught on camera in southwest Calgary this week.
A bear was caught on camera in southwest Calgary this week. Courtesy: Manoj Sharma

She scooped up Todd in her arms while the bear went down into the ravine. At that point, neighbours called her to come inside.

“It’s hard to imagine how you can come face to face with a bear and try to save your pet, which is just like a child,” said Manoj Sharma, who urged d’Obrenan to get in his house to stay safe from the bear.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENThttps://4ffefaa3e129f5e476542c1b7698326f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

READ MORE: Black bear dines on bird seeds in Calgary backyard: ‘He’s just doing bear stuff’

The bear ended up coming back, crossing the road and slipping into Sharma’s backyard. That’s when Sharma caught the bruin on camera.“Every time I look at the video, it’s [scarier] because now if my kids come out to play, I don’t let them come out by themselves,” Sharma said.

Calgary Fish and Wildlife officers have received several reports of a cinnamon phase black bear travelling around the area by Lower Spring Bank Road.

READ MORE: Doorcam video: Mother bear, spotting opportunity, breaks into minivan at B.C. resort

According to Fish and Wildlife, officers tracked the bear and determined it has mostly been staying within the green spaces and has not been showing signs of habituated or defensive behaviour.

As of Friday, a spokesperson for Fish and Wildlife said the last confirmed sighting was near Discovery Ridge and Lower Spring Bank Road on June 24 at 4 p.m. There have been no additional reports since.

Officers are continuing to monitor the situation but a provincial Fish and Wildlife spokesperson said there are no public safety concerns at this point.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE: White grizzly named by Bow Valley residents

As for d’Obrenan, she is thankful her French bulldog is still with her after his big adventure.

“I think anyone who loves their dog would probably do the same and try to get their dog. He’s my baby,” d’Obrenan said.

Residents who encounter a bear that may be a public safety concern are advised to report the incident to the nearest Fish and Wildlife office at 310-0000 or the 24-hour Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.RELATED NEWS

Albanian restaurant serves bear meat in illegal wildlife trade that’s ‘out of control’

Stop the Wildlife Trade exclusive: Bears, monkeys, wolves and birds of prey sold for hundreds of euros on popular Albanian websites, investigation finds

A cub kept by a hotel owner to attract tourists - a common practice in Albania

A cub kept by a hotel owner to attract tourists – a common practice in Albania ( Four Paws )

A restaurant in Albania is offering diners meat from illegally hunted bears – part of an illicit trade in wildlife that is “out of control” in the country, investigators claim.

Researchers said it was the first time they had seen bear meat cooked in Europe, and experts warned that the crude butchering of animals may lead to outbreaks of zoonotic diseases such as coronavirus.

Bears, monkeys and birds of prey are among live animals being sold on popular Albanian online marketplaces, the investigation found, raising fears for the survival of some species in the country.

Animal-protection charity Four Paws discovered that two of Albania’s leading online sites were carrying dozens of adverts selling brown bears and other species that are legally protected.

Many photographs of the animals – along with foxes, barn owls and wolves – showed them with their mouths taped up or their claws chained.

It’s a profitable business: a tiny capuchin monkey was offered for €750 (£675), and a barn owl, a bear cub and a wolf for €500 each.

The buyers are mostly restaurant and hotel owners who keep the animals to attract tourists, or individuals who want the animals as pets and status symbols, charity workers said.

Eagles, the national symbol of Albania, are especially popular with buyers and are often found stuffed as trophies in public places.

The menu featuring mish ariu – bear meat (PPNEA)

But hunting protected species, keeping them captive and selling them is banned in Albania, following a huge decline of native wildlife in the country.

Offenders may be jailed under the law, which was tightened in October, but enforcement of it is lax.

Four Paws said that after its team reported some of the illegal adverts, they were deleted but new ones reappeared.

“A large majority of the photographs displayed severe animal cruelty, such as foxes with sealed muzzles in plastic boxes, bear cubs in chains and birds with their feet tied,” said Barbara van Genne, of the chaity.

A tiny capuchin monkey on sale for €750 (Four Paws)

Monkeys and birds of prey are often kept in bars and restaurants in Albania as a tourist attraction, while foxes are sold for their fur, according to the investigators.

Wolves are bought to be cross-bred with dogs for the puppies to be sold as guard dogs, commonly used in the mountains against wolves. But other animals are killed, stuffed and put on display.

Animals’ mouths are often taped to prevent them biting and their feet chained to stop them running away.

A restaurant in the town of Drilon has also been found advertising bear meat on its menu on Facebook. The listing, for “mish ariu” – Albanian for bear meat – added “ne sezone”, meaning “according to season”.

A live fox with its mouth taped up advertised for sale (Four Paws)

An online restaurant portal, updated earlier this month, confirms the restaurant offering.

A spokesperson for Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) said: “What is especially alarming about this is not only the fact that bear meat is being sold, it is also the addition in brackets of “ne sezone”, which gives the impression that there’s a hunting season for bears.

“In fact there’s no hunting season for any wild animals in Albania, there’s a hunting moratorium and hunting ban for years throughout the whole country – passed in 2014 and extended in 2016 until March 2021.

“The massive decline of wildlife in Albania triggered this.”

Bear meat dishes have previously been seen in Asian countries. The meat can trigger disease caused by parasites, with symptoms including diarrhoea, cramps, fever and hallucinations.

Prof James Wood, head of department of veterinary medicine and an infection expert at the University of Cambridge, said Covid-19 and other zoonotic viruses can be carried by contaminated meat from any species.

“However, the risks are far greater from butchering and hunting than they are from simple consumption,” he said.

“Bears are no more likely to act as a source of a zoonotic virus than any other species group.” He added that cooking was a highly effective means of destroying the Covid-19 virus and other infections, but that “eating bears is, of course, highly undesirable for many reasons, including conservation and animal welfare, if they have been kept in captivity before being killed”.

A bear kept in a cage at a restaurant (Four Paws)

Ms van Genne said: “Four Paws has been active in Albania since 2015 but we have never seen such atrocities before. Until now we have mainly focused on restaurants that keep bears in small cages for entertainment of guests.

“This bizarre new discovery is a further indication that the commercial wildlife trade in Albania is out of control.”

She warned that if the government did not intervene soon, “the few native wild animals left will be history”.

“The platforms need to introduce preventive measures such as seller identification to stop these ads. However, the main problem for the illegal trade remains – the lack of control and enforcement by the authorities,” she claimed.

In the 1990s, there were still about 200 pairs of eagles in Albania, but today the number has halved.

A wildlife sanctuary that can carry out criminal prosecutions, take in rescues and educate people in species protection was urgently needed in Albania, Ms van Genne said.

Bear spotted running across all lanes of I-5 in Pierce County


The bear was spotted along I-5 between Dupont and Lakewood. (Photo: Wash. State Patrol)

LAKEWOOD, Wash. – Question: Why did the bear cross Interstate 5?

That’s what state troopers are asking after they spotted a black bear run across all lanes of I-5 at around 8 a.m. Sunday.

The bear was last seen west of I-5, about halfway between Lakewood and Dupont, and now troopers are asking motorists in that area to be on the lookout for the furry critter.

Trooper Ryan Burke

@wspd1pio

Be careful if you’re north I-5 near milepost 122! The bears are out today! Troopers on scene now attempting to avoid close contact.

77 people are talking about this

Agents with the state Department of Fish & Wildlife also have arrived on scene and are attempting to locate the bear.

Trooper Ryan Burke sent out a tweet asking drivers in that area to be careful because “the bears are out today!”

To which one commenter replied, “He’s looking for an Arby’s,” and another opined, “Be careful, it’s not wearing a mask!”

Amazing video shows the moment a mama bear rescues her cub from drowning in a lake in Canada

  • A mother black bear was filmed rescuing her cub from drowning as they crossed Pitt Lake in British Columbia on June 26
  • The mother bear was swimming with two cubs when one got separated and began to cry in the water and another cub fell underwater 
  • Mom then circled the water look for her cub and it resurfaced and climbed onto her back 
  • With her baby on her back, the mother than swam several feet to comfort her other cub crying across the lake   
  • The three safely made it to shore and wandered off into the wilderness  

This is the moment a devoted mother bear rescues her drowning cub from a Canadian Lake.

Paul Csintalan was out fishing with friends when the mother black bear and her two cubs appeared and started to swim across Pitt Lake in British Columbia on June 26.

In the clip, one cub lags behind its mom and begins to croak and cry as she swims ahead with her other cub.

As she continues swimming her second cub suddenly disappears under the water for a few seconds.

Brave mother bear saves her cub from drowning at Canadian lake
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A mother black bear was filmed rescuing her cub from drowning as they crossed Pitt Lake in British Columbia on June 26. The drowning cub pictured center behind its mom

A mother black bear was filmed rescuing her cub from drowning as they crossed Pitt Lake in British Columbia on June 26. The drowning cub pictured center behind its mom

The mother bear was swimming with two cubs when one got separated and began to thrash and cry in the water. The cub's eerie and croaky screams were heard from across the water

The mother bear was swimming with two cubs when one got separated and began to thrash and cry in the water. The cub’s eerie and croaky screams were heard from across the water

As the mom swims with her second cub, it falls into the water and starts to drown. The mom circled her little one and found it and helped it climb on her back (baby pictured above on mom's back)

As the mom swims with her second cub, it falls into the water and starts to drown. The mom circled her little one and found it and helped it climb on her back (baby pictured above on mom’s back)

With her cub secure on her back, the mom then swims to her other crying cub

With her cub secure on her back, the mom then swims to her other crying cub

Mama to the rescue! The mom swam several feet away to her crying cub to bring it to safety

Mama to the rescue! The mom swam several feet away to her crying cub to bring it to safety

She then circles the water searching for her little one and its head bops up.

She angles her body underwater so the cub can climb on top and ride on her back.

With that cub secure, the mama bear swims several feet to the other cub, who is thrashing and crying.

Finally, she reaches her baby and it stops crying as mom draws near.

Then the three swim towards shore and safely make it onto a beach.

Close encounters with the bear kind

The very places that attract visitors and newcomers for their proximity to wildlife grapple with a spike in bear-human incidents.


At the height of the tourist season at Rocky Mountain National Park in 2018, a plump black bear ambled into the lobby of the nearby Stanley Hotel. It climbed onto a large, cherry wood table, examined an antique couch, gave it a deliberate sniff and then sauntered back out the door it had come in.

Estes Park, Colorado, the gateway community to Rocky Mountain National Park, has what most would consider a problem. Overzealous bears regularly wander into unexpected and inappropriate human places: the warmly lit kitchens of residents, inviting alleyway garbage cans; they commonly thrash their way into tourist vehicles to investigate a scent.

As the population of Colorado’s Front Range swells, visitation to Rocky Mountain National Park, too, has spiked. That’s only meant more encounters with wildlife and increased reports of “problem” bears that have become highly accustomed to humans and consistently rummage for scraps.

But it’s the very possibility of encountering these animals that encourages so many people to move to places like Estes Park and to visit its surrounding wildish areas. As much as our proximity to wildlife confounds our natural resource managers, it continues to delight a great many humans.

In recent years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife managers have worked with the city of Estes Park to adopt practices to better cohabitate with our non-human neighbors. In 2015, the town passed a wildlife ordinance that’s lessened a hungry bear’s access to its greatest temptation: trash. Residents must use either a wild-resistant container or put trashcans outside only on pickup days. Beyond efforts among the residential streets, the city also replaced all of the public trash containers in 2016. And though it was an expensive project, a whopping $1,200 for each individual canister, the community pitched in through an innovative sponsorship program.

The city continues to educate newcomers and visitors through a regular “Bear Booth” at the weekly farmer’s market, and provides tip sheets for behavior to keep wildlife safe that are enclosed in city utility bills and newsletters. Residents are advised that all bird feeders must be suspended and out of reach of a clawing bear. Police department volunteer auxiliary officers help patrol garbage cans and dumpsters with weekly driving rounds and provide information to rule-breakers.

While the town has made progress, there are still challenges ahead. More people visited the area during the 2018 season — more than 4.5 million people — than ever before, a trend that is expected to continue, and many tourists are unaware of safe wildlife interaction practices. It’s also an ongoing challenge for wildlife managers and town officials to police the many new small-scale vacation rentals that pop up.

And while chubby black bears awkwardly navigating the ever-intruding human world are undeniably endearing —wildlife encounters frequently go viral online, after all —the best advice wildlife managers offer is painstaking simple: Ignore them and let them be wild.

Petition: Freeing a Bear Cub From a Trap Shouldn’t Land This Woman in Jail

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Acts of compassion shouldn’t land you in jail, yet Catherine McCartney has beensentenced to 15 days in jail after letting a trapped bear cub loose.

New Jersey state officials set a trap in a condo complex after an adult bear frightened some residents, but it was a cub who got caught in the trap. Hearing the cub’s cries, McCartney opened the trap to reunite the child with its mom, technically violating some laws for tampering with government property.

By the state’s own admission, had a government official gotten to the trap first, they probably would have also let the cub free since he was not the intended target. It appears that the judge chose to extend a harsh sentence anyway since McCartney has been arrested in the past for protesting bear hunters.

Acts of civil disobedience aimed at protecting vulnerable bears should not put her behind bars, though. Save the jail time for the people who are cruel to animals instead!

Join former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli in calling on NJ Governor Phil Murphy to pardon McCartney from serving jail time, as the punishment most definitely does not fit the “crime”/act of kindness.

Inside the disturbing world of illegal wildlife trade

To expose criminals who traffic animals, Rachel Nuwer went undercover—even posing as a prostitute.

A recent report by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature showed that between 1970 and 2014 the vertebrate population declined by an average of 60 percent. While this was mostly due to habitat loss, the illegal trade in wildlife—whether rhino horn, tiger bone, or animals captured for the exotic pet market—poses a growing threat to many species’ survival. But as National Geographic contributor Rachel Love Nuwer writes in her new book Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Traffickingmany brave individuals and organizations are battling to expose the criminals—and save the animals.

Speaking from her apartment in Brooklyn, New York, Nuwer explained how superstitious beliefs in China and Southeast Asia are a driving force of the trade; how wildlife trafficking needs to be tackled by law enforcement, not conservationists; and how she disguised herself as a prostitute to go undercover at a tiger farm in Laos.

The global wildlife trafficking trade is worth an estimated $7 to $23 billion. Who runs it? Where are the hotspots? Who profits? What are the most affected animals?

COURTESY HACHETTE BOOK GROUP COMPANY

The most obviously affected animals are the big, charismatic megafauna, like rhinos, elephants, tigers, and even bears. In reality, though, we’re talking about millions of individual animals of thousands of species. It spans poaching for jewelry, pets, traditional medicines, trophies, or wild meat, which some cultures consider a luxury item. This is a global trade. However, much of the demand for illegal wildlife products is in Asia, especially in China and Vietnam. That’s predominantly because wealth in those places has been increasing over the past decades, so people who previously could not afford things like ivory jewelry or rhino horn carvings now can do so. There’s more demand than there is supply.

There’s a misconception, especially in the media, that there are these Pablo Escobar-like kingpins controlling everything. While there is some evidence that a few people like that do exist, much of this illegal trade is made up of disorganized, opportunistic criminals. The guy in Zimbabwe killing an elephant and running its tusks to the nearby village won’t know the guy in the town, who then sells those tusks to the corrupt airport official who, in turn, doesn’t know who exactly the tusks are going to in Malaysia or Hong Kong.

That’s one of the reasons that it’s so hard to tackle this thing. It’s not like you can just knock out a couple of big guys at the top and you’ve solved it. Even when you do make arrests of so-called kingpins, they’re oftentimes readily replaced by their colleagues.

Most of us could draw an elephant or a rhino. But fewer could say what a pangolin looks like. Introduce us to this shy animal and explain why it is so highly prized that it now faces possible extinction.

Pangolins are definitely my new favorite animal since writing this book. They are better known here in the U.S. and the U.K. as scaly anteaters, which is funny because they’re not that closely related to anteaters. They’re more closely related to cats and dogs. They look like walking pinecones with feet, or tiny, odd-looking dragons.

There are four species of pangolins in Asia and four in Africa. Unfortunately, because they look so strange, people tend to attribute magical or medicinal properties to them. Traditional societies all over the world have different uses for pangolins, especially their scales. The biggest source of demand is traditional Chinese medicine, a version of which is also practiced in Vietnam. Their scales are boiled, dried, then ground up into a powder and served to women who are having trouble lactating, for example. In Vietnam their meat is also considered a delicacy. You call up a wild meat restaurant in advance and then it will either be prepared for you, or its throat will be slit on the spot.

Tigers worldwide are also facing particularly vexing challenges. Give us a picture of the illegal trade and the ancient superstitions, often driven by male sexual insecurity, that fuel it. Is there enough being done to combat these primitive beliefs?

Definitely not! There are an estimated 4,000 tigers left in the wild today. There’s many more than that in captivity. When I say captivity, I mean in people’s backyards in the U.S. and elsewhere, which is a completely different issue­—and then on so-called tiger farms in China and Southeast Asia. The tigers are bred, then slaughtered for their bones, meat, fur, teeth, and claws. Particularly sought after are the penises and bones, which are soaked in an awful-tasting rice wine and served, usually to men. They’re supposed to imbue men with the prowess and sexual energy of the tiger.

The Chinese have been really good about making a show of shutting down the ivory trade recently, but other than that there’s nothing going on to combat the illegal wildlife trade. President Xi has been cutting back on corruption, which means closing wild meat restaurants. But there’s no re-education campaign to discourage tiger use. In fact, investigations by conservation groups show that government officials are some of the most common purchasers of tiger bone wine in China and other Asian countries. They have no intention of closing this down.

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WHY ELEPHANTS MAY GO EXTINCT IN YOUR LIFETIMENearly a hundred elephants are slaughtered each day in the wild, most for their ivory tusks. This killing of elephants by humans could wipe out the animals in the wild within a generation.

You visited a tiger farm in the Golden Triangle Economic Zone, in Laos, disguised as a prostitute. Tell us about that story and whether farms could be a solution to tiger trafficking.

[Laughs] I was quite nervous about visiting this place. It’s supposed to be a hotbed of crime, drugs, prostitution and yes, illegal wildlife trade. I had spoken with a woman named Debbie Banks, an excellent wildlife investigator working at the Environmental Investigation Agency in London, and she told me the only people who go there who are not Chinese, Vietnamese, or Thai are Russian or Ukrainian prostitutes, or else backpackers. I thought, okay, the former sounds a little bit more fun and I own some scanty clothes anyway, so I’ll go with that. I brought a friend and my husband from New York because I was nervous about going by myself. We wore ridiculous clothes and nobody seemed to notice or care about us, which was great. We could browse through these shops and look at huge quantities of ivory, rhino horn, and tiger products openly for sale, and we dropped by the Kings Romans casino where ivory and rhino horn were also openly displayed. We visited the tiger farm on the premises, where I was told clients can essentially go to shop for what animal they want to have for dinner at one of the on-site restaurants. This was an especially difficult experience for me; there were tigers pacing in small cages yowling mournfully, and a number of bears that were clearly suffering from cage-induced mania.

There’s definitely a constituency of people, especially in China and South Asian countries, who argue for what is called “sustainable use of wildlife products,” whether that’s selling ivory or raising tigers and rhinos for their body parts. But tiger farms have been closely linked with laundering of tigers illegally caught in the wild, then passed off as products. So tiger farms pose a critical threat to wild tigers. That’s not even to touch on the humane animal advocacy side of things. These animals live miserable lives.

It is estimated that 144,000 elephants were killed between 2007 and 2014 for their ivory, a drop in the overall population of 30 percent in just seven years. You attended an ivory burn in Kenya. Set the scene for us and explain the thinking behind this idea. Does it lower trafficking?

The first huge ivory burn took place in 1989. It was organized in Kenya by the paleontologist Richard Leaky. His idea was to create a spectacle that the world could not ignore. And it worked. A few months later it led to nations voting to give elephants the highest degree of international protection, which effectively banned commercial trade of ivory, which was an amazing accomplishment!

Whether the burns lower trafficking is not proven. But it’s not the primary goal of ivory burns; it’s an awareness-raising method to spread the word about the illegal wildlife trade. Another important purpose is to simply get the ivory out of circulation because a lot of the storehouses, particularly in developing countries, are notorious for leaking ivory and rhino horn out. You have 50 tons of ivory that you seize from some criminal and then a few weeks or months later that 50 tons has been reduced to 25, because of corruption. The big message is that ivory should never be traded. It has no purpose at all except for elephant tusks on elephants.

One of the many inspiring activists you met is a British woman named Jill Robinson. Tell us about her and the appalling trade in bear bile.

Jill is amazing. She was living in Hong Kong doing work on cats and dogs, when someone mentioned to her a bear farm for this bear bile trade, and her interest was piqued. She took a tour to a bear farm in mainland China and left the tour group at one point because she heard noises in the basement. She crept down these stairs to a dark room where she found cages and cages of bears in horrific condition, with open wounds. Jill had this moment of connection and wound up dedicating her life to ending bear farming for bile. Her organization, Animals Asia, has saved hundreds of bears from these farms and brought them to rehabilitation sites.

The thing about bear bile is that it’s one of the few traditional Chinese medicines that is efficacious. However, the active component, ursodeoxycholic acid, can be synthesized in a lab so you do not need bears to be put in these awful situations or kept in captivity. The problem is, users in China and Vietnam want this to be a wild, free animal, so they think they are absorbing the essence of this pure, strong thing.

At a conference in London earlier this month, it was suggested that the best way to curb wildlife trafficking, like the drugs trade, was to follow the money not, as is usual, the animal. What’s your view on this? Is enough being done to intercept these illicit funds?

That’s a great point! Definitely not enough is being done because virtually nothing is being done in terms of investigating the financial crime side of things. The problem with the illegal wildlife trade is that it’s so often seen as something in the purview of conservationists, biologists or ecologists. But that’s like giving botanists the job of tackling the cocaine and heroin trade. We need to get criminal experts involved, including money-laundering experts, because a lot of times the punishments that go with breaking wildlife laws are really weak. It’s a $100 fine for trafficking a rhino horn that might be worth $30,000! Money laundering laws would be much stronger. So I think crime is where we should be focusing. We need criminal experts, not wildlife experts, and we need to treat this like any other type of crime, not something special just because it involves wildlife.

There are bright spots in this story. Tell us about the Zakouma National Park in Chad, and what you think the future holds for trafficked animals.

The Zakouma National Park in Chad had an elephant population of around 4,000, one of the biggest herds in Central Africa, but in less than a decade that population fell to around 450. It was being absolutely hammered by Janjaweed poachers riding down from Sudan for this killing spree and taking the ivory back to sell. Everybody had resigned themselves to saying goodbye to those elephants. However, a spectacular non-profit organization called African Parks negotiated with the President of Chad to take over the park. Thanks to their efforts, poaching is virtually at zero, and the elephant population is once again growing. They’re even having new babies, which is huge!

There are other people who are giving it their all to save their countries’ wildlife. Thai Van Nguyen, the founder of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, is a great example. He’s Vietnamese, his organization is entirely run by Vietnamese and he is the only person in Vietnam equipped to rehabilitate pangolins rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Thai brings them back to his facility, rehabilitates them, and when they’re strong enough he and his colleagues take the pangolins to secret locations and release them.

People like Thai are buying time for the rest of us as we get our acts together and decide this is something we want to stop. And that animals are worth saving.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Sudbury police faces backlash after ‘dispatching’ injured bear cub

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/sudbury-police-faces-backlash-after-dispatching-injured-bear-cub-1.4022677

Molly Frommer talks to Sudbury police about the incident involving an injured bear cub that is drawing outrage on social media.
CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:51PM EDT 

The Greater Sudbury Police Service is facing intense criticism after witnesses say two officers shot and killed an injured bear cub without properly assessing whether the animal could be saved.

Local resident Anne Chadwick wrote a post on Thursday about coming across a black bear cub on the highway that had just been hit by a vehicle and abandoned.

She said she and another passing driver helped the bear to the side of the road, where she says it appeared both disoriented and with injuries to its front legs.

They called 911 for help, but she alleges that when two police officers arrived, they didn’t fully assess the cub’s condition but instead retrieved a rifle from their cruiser.

She said she was ordered to stand back while one of the officers repeatedly shot the bear. She said the cub was shot four times before it died.

Chadwick wrote that she was traumatized by watching the animal die in front of her and wondered whether the bear’s life could have been saved.

“He looked well enough that he could have been helped (obviously I’m not a vet and don’t know for certain but neither were those police officers),” she wrote. “At the very least from what I’ve read he should have been tranquilized first.”

Her post has since been shared more than 5,800 times, prompting an outpouring of anger on social media.

The Greater Sudbury Police Service issued its own Facebook post about the incident on Thursday night, saying the officers had no other choice but to euthanize the animal.

“The bear cub was suffering, unable to move and struggling to breathe,” they wrote, adding that the officers “dispatched” the cub in order to end its pain.

The police service said the two officers would not have been able to safely handle or transport the injured animal, and though the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and city animal services were contacted, they were informed that neither agency could come to the scene.

“This is not a situation that any officer wants to be in and the Police Service attempted to find an alternative before the Officers made the decision to dispatch the cub,” the police wrote in their post.

Sudbury District MNRF spokesperson Yolanta Kowalski confirmed that her office did receive a call from the Sudbury police, but said it was “to pick up a dead bear cub from the side of a road.” She said since the ministry isn’t responsible for the removal of dead wildlife, staff advised police to contact the City of Sudbury’s animal control services.

The Greater Sudbury Police Service’s Sgt. Terry Rumford defended the officers’ decision.

“I think we have to remember that these are judgement calls that officers have to make on a moment’s notice. Further, we are not equipped as a police service to transport bears,” he told CTV Northern Ontario.

He added that the police service would be reviewing the incident.

“With these types of incidents where there is community displeasure over certain incidents, we do what is called ‘administration reviews’ and we are in the process of doing that now,” he said.

With a report from CTV Northern Ontario’s Molly Frommer