FILE – The B.C. Conservation Officer Service made the decision to relocate two grizzly bears that had been frequenting urban areas around Bella Coola for the past few weeks. (Submitted/Black Press Media)

FILE – The B.C. Conservation Officer Service made the decision to relocate two grizzly bears that had been frequenting urban areas around Bella Coola for the past few weeks. (Submitted/Black Press Media)

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

A bear has been killed in Kimberley, B.C. after generating dozens of calls this year, from breaking into trucks to even chasing after a young girl.

The BC Conservation Officer service has confirmed that the bear was euthenized on Sept. 14. Sgt. Denny Chretien of the East Kootenay Conservation Officer Service was the officer who destroyed the bear. He explained that the bear in particular had generated many calls since the beginning of spring.

“This bear was very identifiable, a brown coloured bear,” he said. “He had gotten into garbage in the spring and had very high non-natural levels of food conditioning. We tried to educate the public, with WildSafeBC going door to door and tagging garbage.

ALSO READ: ‘Garbage-fed bears are dead bears’: Penticton conservation officer

“What was really concerning was this bear, around July, had started to get into vehicles, specifically truck beds, during daylight hours. He must have got a reward at some point, a piece of garbage or food, and kept going back for it. This further expanded his food conditioning.”

He went on to explain that the bear was not afraid of people, and got quite territorial around what he perceived as his garbage, his food.

“He became ornery about his property,” said Chretien. “That should have never happened. WildSafe BC has been doing their job to educate, and so has the Kimberley bylaw officer, Kim. We try to educate the public first before placing charges but it seems to be quite the issue for some people in Kimberley.”

In terms of the bear being destroyed, Sgt. Chretien said it was his decision after witnessing the bear follow a young girl through her yard before it tipped over a garbage can and ran away.

”It was in that moment I had a safe shot and thought that it was best for the safety of the public,” Chretien said.

The person who’s garbage was left out, he explained, has now been charged with a Dangerous Wildlife Protection order.

“We have tried our best to educate the public, but it’s coming down to the point where we are going to have to start charging people who leave their garbage out. The fines start at $345 to $745 dollars and can go up from there. For a person like this, who is a repeat offender, they could end up in court with up to $7,000 in fines.”

He adds that the maximum he has seen in fines was $100,000 and a year in jail, which he says is unusual.

“I’m hoping in this case, the fine is all they will require,” he said. “There are other people in the neighbourhood who will be hearing from us if they don’t start to manage their attractants.”

Chretien says that three other bears have been destroyed in Kimberley this year, one that was a big problem because it was destroying properties to get to the attractants.

“We follow a strict matrix to assist us with the decision,” said Chretien. “The major deciding factor being: is this a threat to public safety?

ALSO READ: B.C. man fined, ordered to stay away from bears after feeding one Tim Hortons Timbits

“Other things we consider are the risk-rate of the animal, the amount of calls we receive about them, the age, gender, if it’s a mom with cubs, and how food conditioned they are. We have a safety officer that tries to educate everyone but if these bears get into a hazardous predicament, say around children, that’s when it becomes an issue.

“The last thing we want is to put the bear down. We want to have people and animals co-exist.”

He says living in a place like Kimberley, residents have to expect to deal with bears and it is their responsibility to ensure their attractants are manages.

“In the spring and right now is when bears are trying to increase their calories. From now until the end of October, bears will be in their hyperplasia period trying to bulk up for winter,” Chretien said.

“And there are a few reasons why a bear will continue to return to the city. One, because there is little competition with larger more dominant bears, two, because people are leaving out bird feeders and garbage, which is an easy and high calorie meal. They don’t have to deal with any competition so they keep coming back.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

A young Sicamous Canada Day parade-goer is awed by a colourful float filled with beloved Disney characters during the July 1, 2020 community event. (File photo)
Editorial: Now is the time for Sicamous to shine

Shuswap community might be just what people who work from home are looking for

Greyhound Canada announced May 13 it was closing operations permanently after more than a century of operation. (Black Press file photo)
COLUMN: Goodbye to a never forgotten friend

Greyhound bus trips played a big role in columnist’s life

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

The future of the Okanagan Lake watershed land use will be subject of a new study supported by a $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation. (Contributed)
Grant to help develop Okanagan Lake protection strategy

Study receives $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation.

As they carry out a FireSmart assessment in Salmon Arm, firefighters Carmen Guidos and Steve St. Denis show one of the easy-to-rectify fire hazards that can exist for unsuspecting residents. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Column: Lessons on welcoming a wildfire into your home

The View From Here by Martha Wickett

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Lynda Saundry, born 1961, is charged with the murder of North Okanagan resident Barry Jones in July 2020. Saundry will appear in Vernon court May 17, 2021, to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry. (Facebook public photo)
North Okanagan murder suspect to be tried by judge and jury

Lynda Saundry is charged with the first-degree murder of Barry Jones in July 2020

Vernon Search and Rescue’s Legacy vessel is returning to Okanagan Lake for boating season, the society said Friday, May 14, 2021. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue vessel returns to Okanagan Lake

VSAR’s Legacy is back with a fresh coat of paint and some other upgrades

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Most Read