Black bear killed

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Meaningful Change Must Happen to the City of Ottawa’s Wildlife Strategy and Practices

1,610 have signed Michael Bergen’s petition. Let’s get to 2,500!

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The City of Ottawa’s Wildlife Strategy Program and in particular the Large Wild Mammal Emergency Response Protocol need to be... urgently overhauled to reflect a more modern, humane approach to wildlife.

On April 24th, 2023 a juvenile black bear visited a series of backyards in Kanata that border NCC forested land, including ours, in search of food (specifically bird feeders). The bear had been in the local area for the last week and was non-aggressive. The police responded at approximately 7:30 pm. Upon arrival, the police made a call to the Ministry of Natural Resources in an effort to have them come on site to tranquilize and relocate the bear. The MNR refused the request. There were no non-lethal efforts made to move the bear back in to forested area. As it became dark, the police made the decision to kill the bear. The bear was shot over a dozen times in the backyard of a home on our street. We were eye witnesses to this tragic event from start to finish. Please help us to prevent this tragedy from happening again by signing this petition.

The City of Ottawa needs to step up and take a more active role in municipal wildlife management, rather than relying on other agencies. There needs to be a program in place that clearly delegates roles and responsibilities, particularly in regard to a more humane large wild mammal emergency response protocol. Specialists in this area , such as the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, should be consulted in the creation of this protocol and ideally provide training and resources to city staff involved in the program. The program should also include community resources to actively provide clear cut information to residents of the City of Ottawa, including education on preventative measures that can be taken by residents to prevent these incidents from occurring. Quick response to large mammal interactions by either on-call or permanent hired specialists should be available to any City of Ottawa employees involved in the program, and to Ottawa Police Services. Specialists should be available for emergency response 24-7. These specialists should have all necessary equipment and be experienced with quickly assessing large animal emergency response situations. They should be fully trained and experienced with tranquilization and relocation of large mammals, as well as humane euthanasia as a last resort. Disputes between land management agencies over who is responsible for wildlife management, including the National Capital Commission, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the City of Ottawa must be put aside and all agencies should have a clear understanding of any practices put in place.

The current ineffectual City of Ottawa wildlife strategy has been in place since 2013 and almost every year since Ottawa Police Services have been called in to kill Moose, Elk, Deer and Bears on City of Ottawa property. This should not be the first and only option to deal with large wildlife in a city that prides itself on its greenbelt; it should be the absolute last resort.Please help us communicate this to the city by signing this petition!

Photo used with permission from Tara-Lee Raycraft.

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