Help Needed for “Russell” the Springbank Bear

Lisa Madsen has been busy gathering signatures on a petition to get some help for a thin, injured bear that has been hanging around the Springbank area. Some locals built a box for a hibernating den in the hopes that he would move in for the winter but he hasn’t done so yet. The last siting of the bear was December 23rd, during the extreme cold spell.

(photo by Rob Evans)


Petitioning Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips and 13 others


For at least the last 3 weeks a young black bear has been wandering in a farmer’s field south of Calgary, along Trans Canada Highway and Highway 22.  This bear has sustained an injury, and will not put weight on its left hind leg.

The Cochrane Ecological and Wildlife Society has offered to help this bear who is needlessly suffering.  They have the facilities to rehabilitate and house this black bear.  The Provincial Wildlife Act does state that the Minister may, in writing and in the prescribed form, transfer the Crown’s property in wildlife on terms and conditions that the Minister considers appropriate and that are specified in the transfer instrument.  As the Minister you have the right to transfer ownership of this bear from the Province to the Cochrane Ecological and Wildlife Society.  I put it to you that it is your moral duty to allow the citizens capable of alleviating this bear’s pain to exercise their right to answer to their own moral compasses.

A spokesman for the Government stated that “The best thing to do is let it recover naturally”.  This representative does not have a degree in veterinary medicine, nor a related degree or diploma that would make him a subject matter expert.  It would be impossible, even for a veterinarian, to diagnose an animal and provide a prognosis based on visual inspection from a great distance.  This bear, at the very least, deserves an assessment of the injury.  The bear should not have to live the next several months in pain and possibly succumb to infection, or starvation, when it may well be easily corrected.   Wildlife suffers daily from illness and injury due to human contact, be it our sprawling construction, our vehicles through their habitat, both on our highways and with our off road vehicles.  It behooves us, then, to also step in to benefit injured wildlife.

As an Albertan and a Canadian, I pride myself in helping others which includes all animals.  We live in a society in which we have the means to help this bear.  Our society can not stand by and watch this bear suffer and possibly die a prolonged death.  Mahatma Gandhi eloquently stated “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

I ask that Honourable Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Phillips, issue a temporary permit to allow this black bear a chance at rehabilitation and treatment of its injuries.

(Rob Evans) December 22nd
(Rob Evans) December 22nd


Over 13,500 people have signed the e-petition 

If you can Lisa would like you to sign the official hard-copy petition she has started. It has been approved by the Parliamentary assembly.  MLA, Dr. David Swann has agreed to present it to the Legislature at the end of February. There is no age limit.  Petitioners must be an Alberta resident. Please contact Lisa at 403-608-0615 or to sign or to help her collect signatures. Lisa will collect them all up by mid-February.

(Rob Evans) December 22nd
(Rob Evans) November 21

Public Forum

A public forum that has been arranged by Lisa Dahlseide, former executive director of Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society, current Naturalist.  Dr. David Swann will be presenting, as well as Travis Ripley, executive director of Fish and Wildlife. See more about it here:

The forum will be held at the Redwood Meadows Community Centre (1 Manyhorses Drive, Redwood Meadows) on January 19th from 7 to 9pm (doors open at 6pm).

(Rob Evans) Dec 13th
(Kinan Echtay)
(Ian Cocks)
(Rob Evans) Dec 5th