Thursday, April 5, 2012


I hate to hear the news that another polar bear has been spotted on the island. Not because I am particularly fearful of the majestic animals, but because I fear for them.

Apparently, another bear has hitched a ride on the floating sea  ice that has drifted south while they fed on the large seal populations. This one is hanging out on the Northern Peninsula near Roddickton. Polar bear sightings are not all that rare at end of March and early April, in years that the coastal waters are full of ice and seals.

What I do not understand is why these endangered species are not  sedated, collected and transported back to the arctic, where they belong. Polar bears are large powerful animals.In 2004, Environment Canada researchers concluded that the numbers of polar bears was on a steep decline. That sparked worldwide concern about the future of the bears and prompted the Canadian and American governments to introduce legislation to protect them.

However, there has been a debate amongst Inuit hunters, research organizations, the federal and territorial governments about the future of the animals. Yesterday the  the Government of Nunavut released a report that indicates the population is 66 per cent higher than previously estimated. One can only speculate that the increased harp seal population has to have provided the bears with plenty of food setting the stage for a renewed population in the Eastern Arctic.

Apparently,  Wildlife Officials only take action when the animals become a danger to the public.

Two polar bears have been  killed by the RCMP/Wildlife over the past week. One would think that officials would be prepared to deal with the issue of humanely transporting these endangered species when the ice conditions are favorable for their arrival.


Wm. Murphy said...

One would think that officials would be prepared to deal with the issue of humanely transporting these endangered species when the ice conditions are favorable for their arrival.

Check your facts are spouting bullshit.
The WildLife Dept are always ready to step in and sedate and move the bears in a humane manner...itis their first mandate and responsibilty. In the case of the first bear the weather precluded the arrival of a chopper and the second bear was shot because they were afraid to wait the 45 minutes for the officials to arrive in advance of the bear being around schools during 3:00 pm dismisal.

Don'tknow about you... but I prefer they shoot the bears over ANY risk to the public.

Peter L. Whittle said...


Honestly sometimes I think your comprehension skills are right up there with my dog!

The line before the one you quoted stated "Apparently, Wildlife Officials only take action when the animals become a danger to the public."..hence they only take the action they took because of the danger to people.

However, I would think that they might have a more proactive approach to Polar bears, in particular when the seasonal ice arrives and the bears with them. That would mean some other plan, besides shooting the animals.

The preferred approach is to tranquilize them and fly them out by chopper right away.

In the event of not have a chopper available, one would think that there might be other options.

There are lessons to be learned on how authorities in other jurisdictions deal with grizzlies and polar bears to reduce the risk that the bears attack residents.

There is a lot of science, protocols and discussion on bear behavior, detection and people management that Wildlife Officials in this province could consider in addition to the "helicopter if available approach"

For starters a polar bear alert program protects people and the bears from unwanted demise, property damage and harassment.

There are other efficient tools besides guns, including electric fences and bear spray, and possibly

I am saying we need contingency plans besides killing the bears. They have them in other jurisdictions.

Wm. Murphy said...

Well got a smart dog there!

Follow along...

when we have a lot of ice on the North coast there is always a possibilty that we will have polar bears. If you didn't know we do not have polar bears on the is pretty much a consensus that these animals don't gell with people. Speaking of other juridctions and the protocols you rattle on about....tell me what other inhabitated island that polar bears visit? What other areas do these Bears hitch a ride on the ice flows landing in areas they could cause potential danger to towns? In Churchill, Nunavit and others...these nusance bears are drugged, caged and released 100's of miles away. There are no boats, helicopters, planes, sumbarines or hover craft taking bears away from an island to the "mainland"

So while you are talking to your dog...why don't you think of the logistics and "protocols" associated with removing a polar bear to Labrador when the weather is bad and helicopters or submarines are not available. When your dog caasually tilts his head to the side..... try and imagine you have a hungry bear sniffing around a school and you are going to put these "bad weather"removal protocols in place as the bear trots downtown Roddicton??

Let me know how you make out with these other options you mention

Wm. Murphy said...

Did you say electric fences??

Wm. Murphy said...

Did you say electric fences??

Wm. Murphy said...

Did you say electric fences??

Peter L. Whittle said...

It is irrelevant how the arrive, by iceberg, following a river or through the forest.

The approach for Polar Bears could be borrowed from how other jurisdictions deal with big bears like Grizzlies and polar bears.

I did say electric fences, not as in fence of the the coast line, as in creating portable holding pens that you can hold the bear in until it can be transported.

I don;t think there was any other option for the bear on the Northern Pen. The Greenspond situation, I think could have been avoided if we had some sort of alternative approach, as they have in other jurisdictions.

I just think we can do better, I really am not that passionate about it. Seems like a shame to kill an endangered species, not sure it reflects well on us.

Your starting to sound like Ed. Like, I said in my post sometimes putting the animal down is unavoidable. I never said let them endanger people or property. I said, we need to have a better response protocol besides the availability of a chopper.

As for talking to my dog, or the would be much the same as this conversation.

Polar T. Bear said...

The polar bear's native range includes NL, not just the arctic. They belong in NL too.

Brian said...

Well trained dogs are an effective tool in in bear harassment/distraction/alarm. I have a couple living next door to me.

Electric fences could be used to 'house' the bear until weather or other assistance arrives.
They are used in the Torngats in reverse, to house humans. Portable fences are redably available.

One has to take into consideration that this is Newfoundland and Labrador with a long history of doing things half arsed.