An Okanagan homeowner in the West Bench area of Penticton, B.C., is on edge after his chicken coop was raided by two bears on Monday evening.
“I got a call from my neighbour around 10 at night and they said, ‘Something is going on in your chicken coop,’” said Mathieu Mongeau, a Penticton resident.
“When I opened my door, I saw a couple black bears which I initially thought were outside the coop but on closer inspection I saw they busted out the window and were eating all my chickens.”
Mongeau says bear activity in the neighbourhood started ramping up around two weeks ago.
At first they were going through garbage cans, he said, but it quickly escalated to the animals feasting on his chickens.
Even Wednesday morning when Global News arrived on scene to cover the story, two black bears were spotted behind Mongeau’s property.
“I probably lost about 25 chickens or so but hard to say because some of them were in a few pieces,” explained Mongeau.
The BC Conservation officer service is using this incident as an awareness lesson for homeowners.
“People need to secure their attractants,” said Conservation Officer Dave Cox. “Whether that be livestock, hobby farmers, commercial operations or just household garbage.”
It is also extremely important for residents to report all bear activity to the B.C. Conservation Officer service so the activity can be tracked in residential areas, according to Cox.
Cox says calling the provincial government service is not a death sentence for bears.
“It’s very little we get calls that we have to respond in that nature. So we are always working closely, trying to reduce this conflict and get people in the community to buy in to keep their bears safe,” Cox told Global News on Wednesday.
The B.C. Conservation officer service says it will be closely monitoring the situation in West Bench.
At this point, there are no plans to destroy the bears. However, if the bears do not leave, more action may be needed.