Bear cubs lose mother to rogue hunter

A Marsh Lake man has been charged after shooting and killing a mother black bear with two cubs. The cubs were born this year, said Environment enforcement officer Kris Gustafson.

A Marsh Lake man has been charged after shooting and killing a mother black bear with two cubs.

The cubs were born this year, said Environment enforcement officer Kris Gustafson.

“And they’re still alive as far as I know.”

William Mooney shot the bear near Lone Moose Lane, east of Marsh Lake.

On Tuesday, Mooney was charged with shooting protected wildlife and with hunting within one kilometre of a residence without permission.

Mooney was given 200 hours of community service, must take a hunter education course and is not permitted to hunt big game for three years, and small game for two, according to court documents.

Environment officials considered capturing the cubs and sending them to a rehabilitation facility in BC.

But there are issues around disease and genetic contamination, said Gustafson.

If we send out bears, there are worries about cross breeding and diseases, and the Yukon wouldn’t want the bears back for the same reasons, he said.

Marsh Lake residents saw the cubs foraging after the killing, said Gustafson.

“And it’s not impossible that they might have returned to their den for the winter.”

There are other instances in North America of cubs surviving by sticking together, he said.

“But it’s not common.”

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