B.C. bear encounters soar with good weather, poor berries (with VIDEO)

Conservation officers contend with aggressive grizzly near Squamish, urge caution as wildlife conflicts surge

Grizzly bear near Squamish.



A surge in conflicts between people and bears since September has B.C. conservation officers urging more caution.

Nearly 2,500 human-wildlife conflicts were reported since Sept. 1, with high levels of bear encounters in the Kootenays, South Coast, Okanagan and Cariboo.

Part of it is the season as bears try to fatten up before winter, said Chris Doyle, deputy chief of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

“This time of year we can expect the bears to be trying to consume more calories before they go to den and we tend to expect higher levels of conflict in the fall,” he said.

Good September weather has meant lots of people enjoying the outdoors where they may run into bears, but Doyle said weather may have also hurt the food supply.

“Some areas are experiencing less than ideal berry crop conditions,” he said. “In the alpine it appears some of those berries didn’t develop due to conditions earlier.”

ATV riders near Squamish recently found their trail home blocked by an aggressive grizzly bear that wouldn’t let them pass. Conservation officers managed to scare the grizzly bear away. (See video above.)

“The grizzly bear had been feeding on a black bear so the grizzly bear was protecting its kill site from the ATV operators and that was the reason it was showing some level of aggression,” Doyle said.

Cranbrook conservation officers also captured a female grizzly bear that had been feeding near the east Kootenay community of Skookumchuck.

Officers are also watching out for two “island-hopping” grizzlies last spotted in the Pearse Islands off Telegraph Cove on northern Vancouver Island.

In Revelstoke, officers issued 16 dangerous wildlife protection orders to residents or businesses that had not taken enough care to avoid attracting bears.

Poaching bears for the illegal trade in their parts remains a concern.

Doyle said simultaneous arrests and raids were recently conducted in Surrey and Cache Creek targeted suspected bear parts traffickers. Charges have not yet been laid.

Doyle noted possession and trafficking of bear parts is illegal even if the bear was legally harvested.

He said charges may also result from an investigation into a bow hunter alleged to have killed a female grizzly bear outside Powell River, where it was feeding.

Wildlife rescue facilities have also had to take on more young bears.

Three bear cubs were recently rescued near New Denver after a sow was struck and killed by a vehicle, while another was rescued in Kitwanga after its mother was critically injured.

Just Posted

Free entrepreneurship program for Indigenous women

Women from across B.C.’s southern interior can apply for the free program

Student produces gun at Princeton Secondary School

Starter pistol confiscated, RCMP are investigating

B.C. Lions talk to Penticton kids about life choices

Three B.C. Lions were in Penticton Tuesday to talk to young people about life choices

Town seeks meeting with crisis assistance

Request for liaison tabled at meeting

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

B.C.’s living wage increase curbed due to MSP cuts, child care subsidy: report

Living wage varies between $16.51 in north central B.C. to $20.91 in Metro Vancouver

Penticton Speedway cleaning up landslide

Owner Johnny Aantjes expects the slide to be cleaned up in time for the next race on Sunday

New acts join Roots and Blues Festival lineup

An eclectic mix of musicians added to Salmon Arm’s slate

Fighting racism is society’s job

BC Hockey’s plan to provide an education package makes a good first step

Proclaimers walk through the Okanagan

The Proclaimers play Vernon Sept. 11. Tickets on sale now through the Ticket Seller

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

Most Read