Friday, 9 May 2014

Worker killed by Bear at Alberta oil sands site.

A worker was killed in an attack by a Bear at an oil sands excavation site operated by Suncor Oil, about 25 km north of Fort McMurray in Alberta Province, Canada, around mid-afternoon on Wednesday 7 May 2014. Dublin-born instrument technician Lorna Weafa was carrying out electrical maintenance work when she was attacked and killed by a male Black Bear (Ursus americanus), despite attempts by colleagues to ward off the animal with air horns. The Bear was later shot and killed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Instrument technician Lorna Weafer, killed by a Black Bear at a Suncor Oil site in Alberta, Canada, on Wednesday 8 May 2014. National Post.

Whilst Bears have a fearsome reputation, and are rightly treated with great respect by people that share their environment, attacks on humans are exceptionally rare, and the Black Bear is generally considered the least dangerous species in North America. Where such attacks do occur they are almost always by male Black Bears emerging from hibernation in spring, and motivated by hunger rather than territorial aggression, as seems to have been the case in this instance. Suncor employees in wilderness areas carry Bear sprays, which produce a noxious odour repellent to Bears, but these are not normally carried with camps, which are industrialized areas, where Bears are not expected. 

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Giant Pandas, Ailuropodinae, are highly specialized members of the Bear Family, Ursidae, adapted to eat a diet of tough, woody plants, principally Bamboo. Only one species of Giant Panda lives today, but several fossil species are known, the earliest being the 8 million year old Ailurarctos lufengensis, from the Late Miocene of China, leading palaeontologists...




Oil sands are sandstones rich in heavy petroleum fractions (bitumen), these can be worked for oil by strip mining and separating the...




Caribou (Rangifer tarandus), or reindeer as they are known in the...


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