Bear complaints continue to keep the RCMP and local Conservation Officer Service busy. Between Sept. 14 and 16, 17 bears were destroyed in the Williams Lake and Quesnel areas.
On Sept. 15, conservation officers responded to bear complaints near Westcoast Road.
Sgt. Len Butler of the BC Conservation Service in Williams Lake confirms a black bear sow and three cubs were put down as a result.
“The bears had been getting into garbage and ripping sheds apart and having too many confrontations with people in the area,” he says.
Around 9 p.m. Sept. 15, officers responded to an alleged black bear attack of a teenager near the Williams Lake Golf and Tennis Club near Fairview Drive.
“We interviewed the young male and learned he had gone into a camp in the woods at night in the dark. He heard some noises and when he looked up he saw a bear in the tree above the camp. The bear made some threatening gestures and a lot of noise, but the teen took off,” Butler says, adding the teen was not attacked.
The conservation officers went back into the woods with the teen and destroyed the bear that was still up in the tree.
“We didn’t take any chances in case there was more to the story.”
Many people are asking why the bears aren’t being relocated because of what they’re seeing in the Lower Mainland, and Butler says that’s a fair question.
During his 30-plus years as a conservation officer, Butler has seen relocation doesn’t work.
“We used to relocate all bears and generally they come back. When a bear becomes habituated we have no other recourse.”
There are so many cows and cubs this year, and it’s catching the conservation office off guard.
“Usually it’s the young male boars that are in town roaming around.”