Wildlife officers search for grizzly bear that killed miniature donkeys

SUNDRE — Fish and wildlife officers are on the hunt for the second of two grizzly bears thought responsible for mauling a pair of miniature donkeys to death near Sundre.

SUNDRE — Fish and wildlife officers are on the hunt for the second of two grizzly bears thought responsible for mauling a pair of miniature donkeys to death near Sundre.

One bear has been caught but officers are now searching for another bruin that has preyed on the farm belonging to Deborrah Killam and her husband Jeff Trithart.

The couple raise miniature donkeys for therapeutic purposes for special needs people and residents of nursing homes.

Killam came home from work recently to feed her 23 donkeys, only to find four-year-old Sadie was missing.

She then spotted a blood trail and paw prints leading into the woods.

Then she made the horrific discovery that Sadie had been killed.

“Our fence was stepped over … this thing was obviously big enough,” said Killam. “He buried her — we found her hind legs sticking out.”

“A two-week old foal is now without a mother.”

On Sunday, Killam and Trithart discovered their 13-year-old donkey named Mystique had also been killed.

“I’m really hurt by it — I can’t even describe it in words,” Killam said, adding she’s also heard of bear attacks on sheep and cattle near Sundre, 130 km northwest of Calgary.

Following up on concerns earlier in the week about a bear in the area, fish and wildlife officers caught and relocated one grizzly early Saturday morning.

Officers then learned the second donkey had been killed, prompting the search for the second bruin, said Sustainable Resource Development spokesman Dave Ealey.

Snares have been set up to try to capture and relocate it, Ealey said.

He said it’s not uncommon for grizzlies to encroach on backyards or feed on livestock being raised in bear country.

“In some places it’s partly due to poor berry crops — other places it’s because people leave food out,” he said.

“If they see donkeys or other small animals that are vulnerable, they will go after them.”

Killam said the donkeys were like children to her.

The docile animals brought meaning back to her life after she was in a car accident that killed her infant son Brandon in Houston, B.C., in 1997, and then was diagnosed with cancer three months later.

“I credit my life to some of them,” she said.

Killam said the donkeys will be kept under closer supervision when they are outside the barn.

“I can’t emotionally handle another animal being taken down,” she said.

Just Posted

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline extended

OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

CRA’s automatic benefit registrations give retirees reason to file on time

TORONTO — This is the time of year when procrastinators begin to… Continue reading

Study: Genetic test predicts middle-aged obesity risk

NEW YORK — Can a genetic test identify newborns at risk of… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer Co-op Plaza Food store closing

Central Alberta Co-op is closing its downtown Red Deer Plaza food store… Continue reading

Earth, meet Polo: Ralph Lauren unveils plastic bottle shirt

NEW YORK — Earth, meet Polo. Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday launched… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in… Continue reading

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix kicked off the year with the biggest subscriber… Continue reading

Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA — When voters in Prince Edward Island go to the polls… Continue reading

Most Read