— The ranching community in northern Alberta that has seen the number of bears in the area plummet from a peak of more than 100,000 last winter to just 15,000 today is worried about a potential rebound, despite the government’s decision to temporarily stop all trapping.article CARLton, Al., June 16, 2019 — “They’re coming back, and it’s going to be a very, very difficult situation,” said Glen MacGregor, the ranch owner of the Bass Lake Ranch in south-central Alberta.
The numbers, however, are not showing it.
In the past week, the number for the Bass and Fraser Range alone has plummeted from more than 120,000 to just 10,000.
MacGregor said he has heard from people in his community that they are feeling more optimistic about the future than they have been in years.
He said the government has put a moratorium on trapping and said it will re-introduce the species back to the region in the next few years.
But he said he is worried that with the reintroduction, people will come back and start killing their own animals again, and he hopes that the government will reverse its decision.
The government has set a target of killing at least 100,00 bears by the end of the year.
MacGregion is hopeful that, with the polar bears back, that number will be met.
“I hope it will,” he said.
“I hope that they get it right, but I think they’re going to go way over the target number.”
MacGregion has seen several people kill their own livestock, including their own dogs, he said, adding that there is also talk of people killing their pets, too.
In his farm, people who sell their own horses are having problems getting their animals to market.
MacGrimes said the industry is still dealing with the effects of the polar freeze.
The last time there was a big freeze in Canada, the rancher said he was able to sell more than 20,000 animals on the market in a single year.
But, he added, that hasn’t been the case in recent years.
MacGrandis said he expects that the bears will be back in his ranch next year, but he said they have to be careful with their livestock.
“It’s going in the wrong direction, and if you don’t keep your animals in the right environment, they can get into a lot of trouble,” he explained.