GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALTA.— Investigators are looking into the deaths of two grizzly bears that were found shot in northwestern Alberta.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife says in a Facebook posting that an adult male grizzly weighing about 227 kilograms was discovered Wednesday afternoon, about 145 kilometres south of Grande Prairie.
It was located roughly 15 metres off a road and had a single gunshot wound to the chest.
The body of a one-year-old female grizzly was found in the same area on Sept. 15, and investigators believe both animals were killed where they were found.
Government spokesperson Brendan Cox says it’s too soon to determine if one or more persons were responsible for the shootings.
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The hunting of grizzly bears in Alberta has been suspended since 2006, and a conviction for illegally killing one carries a maximum fine of $ 100,000 and/or one year in jail.
“It’s still rare to have a grizzly bear unlawfully killed in Alberta,” said Cox. “It does happen, but the cases are few and far between. It’s certainly unusual to have two in such a short time span.”
Grizzly bears have been designated a threatened species in the province since 2010.
It’s estimated that Alberta has about 700 grizzlies.
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