Debate over wild bear birth control

April 30, 2008 at 3:45 PM

WHISTLER, British Columbia, April 30 (UPI) -- The Canadian ski resort town of Whistler, British Columbia, is divided over using birth control on a known brown bear who only causes trouble when she has cubs.

Known as Jeanie, the bear has been featured in a BBC documentary, and has been known to residents for several years, The Province newspaper in Vancouver reported.

Sylvia Dolson, executive director of the Get Bear Smart Society of Whistler, favors injecting the bear with an experimental drug that works as birth control for about five years.

Dolson said the bear only ventures into town to forage through garbage when she has cubs, and must cross a busy highway in both directions each time.

However, local bear expert Michael Allen told the Province he's fiercely opposed to the idea.

"We are not dealing with the root of the problem, garbage, and I am losing patience with the system," Allen said. "There is no way I will ever support manipulating bear behaviors."

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