A bear and two cubs destroyed in James white Park in Fernie last Saturday afternoon, two bears destroyed in Sparwood, one on Michel Creek road and one by the hospital and a grizzly bear attacked a hunter by Grave Lake. Garbage, apples, birdseed, pet food and other attractants accessible to bears on your property is like inviting someone to dinner then shooting them in the head! That is a harsh and bold statement but was how I felt on Saturday afternoon. While playing in a tennis tournament in James White Park in Fernie we saw a bear and two cubs wander through the park towards the airport subdivision and five minutes later a gunshot and then a cub howling, followed by two more gunshots.
By the way, I am the person who puts up the bear in area signs, talks to people about keeping garbage indoors and picking fruit trees, does all the kids education in schools, attends community events, talks to the district staff and council about the need for bear resistant containers and enforcement of wildlife bylaws etc.. in the entire Elk Valley and South Country. I do want to thank everyone who has helped educate neighbours, family and friends and contacted bylaw services to report people who are feeding wildlife by intent or neglect. We are all in this together and can keep our wildlife wild and community safe.
That is now a total of twelve bears destroyed in the past few weeks. Bears accessing garbage outside, apples and chickens on properties, causing property damage, bluff charging people and deemed to pose a risk to human safety that have been trapped and destroyed on Mt Proctor, James White Park and Beach Avenue in Fernie, Causeway Bay Hotel in Sparwood, rural properties on Dicken and Lower Elk Valley road, Elkford and Elko.
Removing bears doesn’t solve the problem, as long as the attractants are there expect more bears to come in after easy food until hibernation time (usually late November). Relocation seldom works. Bears don’t survive well in new habitat or make their way back to communities.
Don’t blame the Conservation Officers who have the unfortunate task of destroying bears. We are to blame, if we have garbage out, apples or other attractants on our properties or know of someone who does and won’t take the time to help them or call the bylaw officer to help resolve the issue. Remove whatever might attract bears to your property and if it is safe to do so scare the bear off, bang pots and pans together, use an air horn or any loud noise maker. A bear’s natural fear of humans is it’s “safety net”. We chose to live in bear country, it is our responsibility to bear-proof our properties and give bears the space and respect they deserve.
We need your help to prevent the needless destruction of bears and to keep our communities safe. It is policy to rely on citizen complaints as a means of enforcing bylaws. Personal information will remain confidential in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Thank you for contacting your local bylaw officer to report anyone in your neighborhood with garbage, apple trees or any other attractant accessible to wildlife.
Bears sightings reported in every community throughout the Elk Valley and South Country.
WildSafeBC will be at the Elkford Fall registration on September 17, Jaffray Fall Fair on the 19th and Fernie Feast and Fest on the 20th. Drop by to find out more about preventing human/wildlife conflict.
Never Approach or Feed Wildlife
Report human/wildlife conflict to 1-877-952-7277(RAPP) or #7277 on cell.
For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict visit www.wildsafebc.com