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

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

VIDEO: Central Albertans learn about Icelandic poet at Stephansson House

Harvest Fair and Quilt Show hosted at Stephansson House in Spruce View Sunday

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Wildfire moves closer to Glacier National Park’s scenic road

MISSOULA, Mont. — A wildfire in Montana’s Glacier National Park is forcing… Continue reading

Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Couillard march in Montreal’s Pride parade

MONTREAL — Thousands of cheering spectators lined the streets of Montreal on… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

In the wake of deadly flooding in the Indian state of Kerala,… Continue reading

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month