Five bears were euthanized in Penticton, including a small family of three, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) announced on Thursday.
The bears were killed in the Wiltse residential neighbourhood of Penticton.
A COS spokesperson said euthanizing the bears was necessary for public protection, but still called it disturbing.
“It’s not something that we want to do,” said Tobe Sprado, COS inspector. “Our information is these bears, this one particular family group, a sow and two yearling cubs, have been there the last couple of months, but it appears they are becoming a little bit more determined in getting access to garbage.”
Sprado said bears trying to access garbage isn’t limited to just this neighbourhood, “but in general everywhere. Especially garbage handling, and also we still have a problem with the fruit in people’s yards.”
Specifically, Sprado called the killings “extremely difficult, it’s emotional, it’s disturbing.
“With wildlife, when we do have to put them down, they don’t necessarily go down as quickly as we would like, but it’s a part of the job that we’ve been tasked to do for the safety of the public.”
Conservation officers were forced to kill six bears in West Kelowna during the Thanksgiving long weekend.