Mountain News: Albertans, residents trade barbs in Invermere 

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“That officer obviously completely overreacted to the situation — he should have stepped out of the way and let (the bear) go by… (the bear) was scared, that’s all,” said Ann Bryant, executive director of the Lake Tahoe-based BEAR League.

She also says the family never should have locked itself in a bedroom. “The thing that gets me is the family was too afraid to approach the bear — they were scared, so they hid in the bedroom… That’s why this bear was needlessly shot, because the family was too afraid to yell at the bear to ‘get out’ and stand their territory.”

A police commander, Steve Kelly, told the Daily Tribune that it’s possible the officer blocked the bear’s escape route. “But I don’t expect in those close quarters for (the officer) to take a moment and think about what the bear was doing, if it wanted to hug him or what.”

He added: “When you’ve got a VW Bug with fur coming at you, your heart’s going to beat a bit faster. And really, all (the cop) had was a heartbeat to make a decision.”


Thin air tough on some babies

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. – Although adults typically get accustomed to the thinner air found at higher elevations, it’s sometimes a problem with babies.

Babies carried in wombs by mothers living at higher elevation have typically lower weight at birth. On average, every 3,300 feet of elevation gained reduces fetal weight by about 3.5 ounces, according to a 1997 study. Dr. Chris Ebert-Santos told the Summit Daily News that most newborns she helps deliver in Summit County arrive at 6 pounds, instead of the national average of 7 to 8 pounds.

It’s not that the babies are born prematurely. Rather, it’s just that the fetuses grow more slowly, said Lorna Moore, a professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center. “The reason that babies grow more slowly, we think, is that there is less oxygen available in utero,” she told the Daily News.

The thin air of Summit County, where elevations of towns range from 8,750 to 10,400 feet, also presents problems for some — but not all — babies after birth. Sometimes within two weeks the baby’s oxygen saturation begins to dip, requiring supplemental oxygen.

Even with this supplemental oxygen, some babies do not make the transition. The Summit Daily tells of a couple in Breckenridge, whose baby had an oxygen saturation of 73 per cent two months after birth. The normal for babies is 89 to 93. The couple sold their house and moved to Minnesota, where the baby immediately had oxygen levels of 97 to 99 per cent.

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