Although there has never been a confirmed sighting of a grizzly bear on the Sunshine Coast, conservation officers said one was shot and killed in the Egmont area on August 19.
A posting by WildSafeBC Sunshine Coast said bear activity had been reported by residents in Egmont, which is located 6 kilometres east of the BC Ferry terminal in Earls Cove, several days earlier and although they suspected it might be a grizzly bear, the species had not yet been determined.
As they have done in the past when bears have wandered into communities, conservation officers and WildSafeBC staff visited residents and encouraged them to get rid of any attractants in hopes that the bear would move along.
Their attempts to get the bear to leave the area were unsuccessful. The bear ended up attacking a pig on a hobby farm and the owner shot the bear. Conservation officers were notified and confirmed it was a young male grizzly bear.
According to the Conservation Officer Service, grizzly bears had been considered eradicated on the Sunshine Coast.
A grizzly bear’s main natural foods are green vegetation, berries, insects, fish and mammals, said WildSafeBC Sunshine Coast. But they are also known to feed on human garbage, fruit and at times, pets.
Some tips to reduce bear attractants include:
- electric fencing to protect crops and livestock
- secure garbage until it can be picked up
- pick fruit as it ripens or get help from local gleaning groups
For more information on ways to manage bear and other wildlife attractants, head to WildSafeBC’s website.