Black bear scavenges at a dump. Photo: Flickr/Mr Emprey
As the debate rages over the environmental costs and benefits of oil derived from the tar sands in northern Alberta, wildlife near a major extraction area is already coming out on the losing end.
Alberta wildlife officials killed 145 black bears last year within tar sands areas because the bears had become habituated to garbage. Nearly half of those bears were shot in the tar sands camps and facilities that have been erected around near Fort McMurray, a major tar sands production region, according to the Calgary Herald.
Darcy Whiteside with the Canadian government's Alberta Sustainable Resources Council, told the newspaper that the number of black bears killed near Fort McMurray last year was three times as many as in 2010, and the highest number in recent history.