Canadian Town Split on Bear Birth Control

'Garbage bear' takes her cubs downtown for dinner
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2008 2:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – Plans to put a British Columbia bear on birth control have stirred up controversy in Whistler, reports the Victoria Times-Colonist. The wild bear, known as Jeanie, is a local celebrity who's been featured in a BBC documentary, but authorities say she is putting her life in danger by coming to the ski town and foraging in garbage to feed her cubs.

Advocates of giving the bear an experimental birth control vaccine, which would sterilize her for five years, warn that "garbage bears" often end up dead on the highway or having to be destroyed because they become a threat to humans. Opponents insist that Whistler, co-host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, should instead take better care of its trash. "We are not dealing  with the root of the problem, garbage," said one bear expert.