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Two bears shot in the Tri-Cities

A bear that was shot in Port Coquitlam Thursday night was well-known to conservation officials. - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
A bear that was shot in Port Coquitlam Thursday night was well-known to conservation officials.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Two bears were killed in the Tri-Cities this week and conservation officers are warning the public to secure all garbage and attractants as the animals approach their fall feeding period.

A black bear that had been relocated last year was shot Thursday in the Gately Avenue area of Port Coquitlam after several reports that the animal was being aggressive toward humans.

Conservation officer James Kelly told The Tri-City News the animal was habituated to both people and their garbage, and had been pushing up against the window of a nearby home.

"Since he did have a history and was causing problems, the RCMP and myself attended," he said. "We were able to locate the bear and he was euthanized along the Coquitlam River."

The animal was about two years old and Kelly believes unsecured garbage and attractants such as berries and unpicked fruits lured the bear to the area.

Kelly also said he has noticed that more people are using bungee chords to secure their garbage bins, a method that does little to slow down a hungry bear.

"A bungee chord will come off in a heartbeat," he said. "It might work for a raccoon but it doesn't work for a bear."

Kelly recommends keeping the garbage in a secured location, such as a garage, or buying a bear-resistant locking device.

The incident Thursday took place only days after a bear was shot in the Anmore area. In that case, Kelly said the animal was not showing signs of being human- or garbage-habituated and was euthanized for humane purposes.

Conservation officials arrived found the bear in a tree at around 6:30 p.m.. They intended to allow the animal to come down with the intention of directing it toward a nearby green belt.  Using a zoom lens on a camera, however, Kelly was able to discover that the bear had a large puncture wound on its side.

"He was badly wounded and, at that point, we decided to euthanize him for human purposes," he said. "We couldn't let him suffer."

He did not say what caused the animal's injuring but said officers were investigating.

With the fall approaching, Kelly said it is likely that the number of bear conflicts with humans will likely rise.

The animals are beginning the process of bulking up for their winter denning period and are looking to add as many calories as possible. That means garbage and any unpicked fruits in yards should be contained, he said.

"It is very important that residents remove attractants," he said. "These bears will be looking for food."

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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