Photography and commentary from John Fujimagari

The Bears Need Your Help

Dark Grizz Cub
On Friday October 5, 2012 Parks Canada confirmed that 2 grizzly cubs yearlings were stuck and killed approximately 10km west of Banff on the CPR tracks. Trains are the single biggest killer of grizzly bears in Banff National Park. There have been 10 known grizzly bear mortalities on the tracks since 2001, including eight over the last six years. Ten fatalities in an estimated population of 60 individuals pushes the grizzlies toward unsustainability. It would be a crushing blow to the park to have them disappear completely.
I spotted the above cub at Moraine Lake near Lake Louise in Banff National Park last year. This one would be the same age as the two that were killed.
Many of the trains travelling through the park have hopper cars that leak grain and the grain attracts the bears looking for something to eat. The grain car fleet is aging and are wearing out. I’ve seen grain sprouting on the railbed west of Field, BC. That’s well over 100 miles to the nearest grain loading terminal and way too far to still be leaking grain.
It’s time that something needs to be done. As I see it, there are three that could be done.
  1. Fix up the grain cars, so that they don’t leak out grain while going down the road.
  2. Slow down the trains travelling through the park.
  3. Fence off the tracks like the highway to keep all animals off.

I think that a combination of the first two are a viable option while all of the cars are being retrofitted. The third would be the long term best option, protecting not only bears but moose and elk as well.

I wonder why the grain producers are not concerned by the way the grain that they produce is being wasted. The kernels of wheat dribbling out the bottom of the car all of the way to Vancouver.

If you’d like to help out please sign the petition at the bottom of the page.

In the best light

Canadian Pacific/Parks Canada Petition


3 responses

  1. I’ve signed and sent it to everyone I know! Thanks for sharing.


    October 10, 2012 at 06:46

  2. Mike Fitton

    Signed my name to this petition…. This is so sad… again..


    October 10, 2012 at 08:12

  3. I sign the petition, but not sure how much credence they will give to someone from the US. However, I did mention that I am a native of Yosemite National Park and know first hand the importance of protecting these wonderful animals. There are not a lot of YNP natives, so I’m hoping that will make them take note to my concern. My family has had ties with Yosemite for the past six decades with most all of my mothers family having worked in the park at one time or another (my late maternal grandmother work there for fifty-three years) and I am about the only one that has not…but, I’m looking at how to change that, even if just for one season.


    October 11, 2012 at 00:03

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