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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty chairs an opioid crisis working group pushing for policies to stop the flow of illicit drugs in Canada. (Victoria Police Department photo)
‘The opioid crisis impacts all of us’: Cariboo Prince Geroge MP Todd Doherty

Todd Doherty is co-chair of Conservative Party caucus opioid crisis working group

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Skating rink welcomed

This lake one will not last long but is still worth it

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: New batteries close to industrial level applications

The good news is the hope that this cost should come down each year

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read