A grizzly bear that killed three miniature horses after wandering down from the Rockies in search of food was captured by conservation officers this weekend and safely returned home.
B.C. Conservation officers said in a press release that they were made aware of the grizzly bear after a farmer reported his three miniature horses had been killed.
“Over the weekend, conservation officers safely captured the bear. It was tranquilized and assessed in consultation with wildlife biologists with the Ministry of Forests,” conservation officers said.
“Every wildlife conflict situation is assessed individually and takes into account several factors, such as the risk to public safety and the animal’s ability to survive in the wild. There were no reports of aggressive behavior towards people or additional conflict history associated with this bear, a healthy male, and the decision was made to relocate the animal.”
According to the conservation service, the bear had likely followed creek drainage out of the Rocky Mountains to the lower valley bottom to search for available food sources.
They said that the prolonged drought conditions in the late summer and early fall caused the higher-elevation natural berry crops to disappear.
In consultation with wildlife biologists, the bear was fitted with a GPS tracking collar and released to an undisclosed location outside of Invermere. Provincial Wildlife Biologists will monitor the bear’s movements as part of efforts to compile data on the species.