Advertisement

Nearly four times as many black bears were killed last July compared to 2016

File photo. 80 black bears were destroyed this past July after human-bear conflicts, compared to 23 in 2016.
File photo. 80 black bears were destroyed this past July after human-bear conflicts, compared to 23 in 2016. Pat Pace/Submitted Photo

This past July, 80 black bears were destroyed by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

The same time last year, only 23 were killed.

Wildlife Conflict Manager Mike Badry says part of the issue is that the bears’ natural food supply was impacted by the cold, wet spring this year being followed by hot and dry conditions, which generally spoils the supply.

That has them looking for food wherever they can, even in areas where there are homes, meaning they’re more likely to go through people’s garbage.

Badry says they’re trying to move away from translocating the bears, which is rarely positive.

READ MORE: Bear put down after being caught eating from Coquitlam man’s fridge

Story continues below advertisement
“Not only does it have to find food in an unfamiliar environment, it has to compete with all those other animals, probably more dominant animals than them. What they most often do is move great distances over a short period of time, and end up starving to death, [or] they end up getting killed on roads.”

READ MORE: Human-bear conflicts in B.C. have nearly doubled since 2016

“Very many times they end up back in other communities, or even the same community that they originated from. Instead of trying to do that kind of reactive response, what we’re really putting the focus on is [not letting] bears get to that point. That’s where we need people to take responsibility for how they manage their attractants.”

Badry says garbage, pet food, and bird feeders are what commonly attract bears.

He’s recommending residents clean their barbecues and keep an eye on fruit trees.