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Letter: It's time for big white dogs to protect livestock and people from predators like bears

There is a better answer for anyone concerned of bears near their homes, says reader

Re: Letter: Someone needs to advocate for the bear

The letter writer makes good sense about the Cougar Creek bear and I totally agree with him. I also advocated for a bear once -- a female grizzly. I had given the Banff Park wardens a workshop on how to safely sedate bears for capture and relocation. They had a male grizz in a culvert trap for me to demonstrate on. It went well. 

Some weeks later a warden from Lake Louise called me and said we’ve successfully relocated a female grizz six times and she keep coming back and is becoming more aggressive unless you have a good answer were going too have to put her down. 

Hold on, I may have a answer. I then advocated to the zoo administration to consider taking her in as a companion for the young male we had hand raised from an orphan cub. They said OK. 

The warden brought her in and we put her in a bear grotto that had never had an escape. It was surrounded by 20-foot tall vertical steel bars with a three foot over hang. At 2 a.m. I got the call from night security there’s a bear in the garbage behind the dining hall. 

So as a result of my advocating for a bear I’m now hunting a rogue grizz in the dark of night with a tranquilizer rifle and a spotlight. It was risky and scary but ended well. We both survived though it was nip and tuck for me. 

Anyway, there is a better answer for anyone concerned of bears near their homes. It’s called the big white dog. Every country in Europe has a version.

They have been selected for centuries for their instincts to protect livestock and people from predators like bears and wolves and do it well. I’ve used both a Kuvas from Hungary and a Merema from Italy to protect my livestock successfully for many years in bear country. 

I know of an instance where two Anatolian shepherds from Turkey kept a grizzly from a lamb dinner successfully. 

It’s essentially safe, enforced bear relocation without potential for harm to anyone. It is the best answer in addition to proper trash and other attractants management to keep bears away in bear country. 

And cheap. A year's worth of dog chow the only cost as these dogs have dense fur and can live outside year round with minimal shelter and food and water. And they work 365 days a year for 10-12 yrs.

Darrel Florence,