News

Third bear shot in Coquitlam

A third bear has been destroyed in Coquitlam for getting into people's garages, eating their garbage and causing concerns about public safety.
A member of B.C.'s Conservation Officer Service confirmed Wednesday that a 1.5-year-old male black bear was caught in a culvert trap and destroyed on Friday, July 29.
The bear was first reported to the conservation office July 6 and a trap was set soon after, according to Const. Cody Ambrose.
"It had become habituated to the point where its behavior was a concern for public safety. This bear became so bold it would regularly enter garages or walk within reach of people. It wasn’t deterred by people yelling, air horns, or even bear bangers," Ambrose said.
The bear, which was born last winter and was hanging around Burke Mountain neighbourhoods, was not a good candidate for relocation because it was so habituated.
Ambrose said conservation officers were concerned the bear would return to the area as have other relocated bears which can be identified by their yellow ear tags.
"This individual bear generated approximately 30 complaints starting on July 6 and a majority of those complaints were related to the bear accessing garbage. People need to educate themselves and become more bear aware, which starts with locking up their garbage and attractants," Ambrose said.
The end of July is roughly the half-way mark in bear season and so far conservation officers have handled about 300 complaints in Coquitlam, which is about average for the time of year.
Two other bears were also destroyed, one was killed in the Addington Marsh area of Coquitlam, near Minnekhada Park, after it was injured in a bow shooting on a blueberry farm and a second bear was shot near the neighbourhood of Gabriola Drive because it was habituated to humans.
This most recent incident on Abby Lane at the foot of Burke Mountain has Coquitlam Bear Aware coordinator Drake Stephens concerned because of reports the bear was being fed when it was a cub.
"He (the bear that was trapped) didn't think he was doing anything wrong," Stephens said.
He is warning people against feeding bears and urges people to rid their yards of bear attractants.
dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

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