A polar bear that had wandered into Quebec’s Gaspe peninsula was killed by authorities over the weekend. The bear was killed to make sure no humans could be hurt after the animal was spotted in a wooded area on Saturday near the town of Madeleine-Centre.
According to the Guardian, officials from Quebec’s Wildlife Department did not have the equipment to handle the 650-pound animal or tranquilizers needed to safely sedate him. Officials were not sure where the polar bear came from, although it is suspected it had been feeding around the South Labrador Sea where there was abundant food.
The bear likely swam to the peninsula to wander and explore. Most polar bears, however wait for the ice to break up and hunt for harp seals and then swim back to spend the summers where food is plentiful.
It comes back to the idea of beauty and the beast. They are beautiful to look at, but are incredibly frightening. And because they are so far away, you can focus on the beauty. But when all of the sudden it’s in your backyard, then it becomes the beast and it’s no longer welcome.Prof. Andrew Derocher with the University of Alberta biological sciences as told in an interview with Cbc.ca
It is standard procedure to kill polar bears that wander into regions where they can become a public hazard. Unfortunately, there would be a problem sedating the animal, finding a strong enough cage to hold it, having the funding made available and then putting it on a plane and taking it somewhere in Labrador.
Killing a polar bear from a conservation perspective is also devastating; they are currently listed as a vulnerable species in Quebec and Labrador, and as their natural habitats continue to disappear, it becomes troublesome when they get closer to humans.
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