Re. "3 bears killed as they denned in PoCo backyard" (The Tri-City News, Jan. 13).
This letter went to the provincial Ministry of Environment department head in charge of conservation officers:
I am writing to you to complain about your department's total lack of care and decency to wildlife in the killing/slaughtering of three defenceless bears, most recently in north Port Coquitlam Jan. 10.
I don't know what your department was thinking when the decision was made to kill these healthy, non-provoking trio of black bears. As I read the article in The Tri-City News, it appears that the officers did have an option. Of all the things I have read about black bears from people who are expert in this field, the number one thing that a black bear will do when confronted by humans is to shy away from them, as they already proved by climbing up a tree. This is what makes them no danger to humans.
All the conservation officers had to do was to wait and let them come down and then let them go off on their own. Maybe blast a horn or rattle a can, as they tell you to do when you're in the forest.
These bears, which your department sometimes tags as repeat offenders, were not. They posed no real threat or danger and weren't in this yard because they were looking for food - they were only there to make a den.
I think officers had the option of at least tranquillizing and relocating them. I also believe from too-many-to-count times that I have read about these situations that your department chose the least expensive and quickest way to deal with wildlife.
I hope you can sleep at night knowing full well that your department took the easy way out.