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Bear Trapped and Destroyed

Animal tagged from an earlier encounter

Bear strolls through the village in early June. Photo by Herb Johnston

A small black bear has been captured and destroyed in the village by the Conservation Officer Service (COS).

The trapped bear bore a yellow ear tag, meaning it had been captured before.

David Karn of the COS confirmed to The Watershed that a black bear was "put down, to ensure public safety."

Karn said the bear, was captured on July 7th and "humanely" put down as per provincial human-wildlife conflict response guidelines.

Bear Smart team member Norma Rodgers is discouraged. "I have been a Lions Bay resident for 28 years and a bear advocate for 24 years," she said.

"From 1999 to 2004, residents complained to COS about bears in their yards but did not remove attractants so bears were routinely shot. We worked hard to educate residents about bear attractants and ways to peacefully co-exist with bears. As a result no bears were destroyed in Lions Bay for over a decade.  Now over the last few years it is routine to see a bear trap because residents are phoning COS rather than removing food attractants."

Some village residents have come up with creative ways to deter persistent bear interest. One resident contacted The Watershed to note that after repeated break-ins by a determined bear, they had success by playing talk radio in their garage.

"We removed all attractants and sprayed the perimeter with Pine Sol twice a day. We even left a t-shirt soaked with the stuff by the window he broke into. But he kept coming back until we tried the radio. The bear didn't like it. The only time we forgot to turn it on, he came back."

Port Moody is the most recent municipality to attain Bear Smart status, where the general city manager has worked for more than twenty years to make the community more bear-friendly.

Karn says the COS advises residents to ensure their attractants, such as garbage, pet food and bird seed, are securely stored to help prevent bears and other wildlife from accessing them. He said that the death of the bear will not affect the community’s Bear Smart status.

Still, says Rodgers: "We need to do better, because we live in bear habitat."

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In a word, heart-breaking!

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