COS removes treed bear near Williams Lake elementary school

COS removes black bear near Cataline elementary school Friday morning after receiving complaints a bear was in a tree in someone's backyard

Conservation officers in Williams Lake put down a black bear near Cataline elementary school Friday morning after receiving complaints a bear was 80 feet up in a tree in someone’s backyard.

“We started getting complaints about 7:30 am. about a bear running around just before school started,” Sgt. Len Butler of the COS said. “It had a pathway, had broken through a fence, and was probably going up and down the highway and into the Fox Mountain area.”

The bear weighed about 300 pounds and was a dry sow — without cubs— Butler said, suggesting it was unfortunate because she was a very healthy bear, probably full of crab apples and garbage.

Between the RCMP and the COS office there have been numerous complaints about bears breaking through fences, hanging around schools and getting a little too aggressive during the last month.

Friday’s bear brings the total to at least six bears being put down this season within the city limits. Three bears were disposed of near Hodgson Road above Chilcotin Road elementary school on Thursday, Butler said.

“It’s the same problem, they’re getting into garbage,” he insisted. “I know there are a couple more bears hanging around Hodgson and Roberts Roads, but people are leaving their garbage out.”

Spring and summer were quiet in Williams Lake, but once the berries were done, it was anticipated the bears would move into town, he added.

“Unfortunately people are not being diligent with their garbage,” Butler said. “Some people get hit once and realize they need to clean up, but other times we’re getting told it’s too much of an inconvenience to put garbage away.”