Conservation Officer Service Reports Higher Than Average Human Bear Conflicts
Human-bear conflicts are up across the province.
“April and May bear calls to the COS Rapp Line have totaled 3,826 calls, and that’s as of yesterday, for black bears and 182 calls for grizzly bears,” Chris Doyle, deputy chief B.C. Conservation Officer Service said.
“The average over the previous eight years have been 2,400 black bear calls and 82 grizzly bear calls.”
Doyle said while it is not clear it is possible that the cold, dry spring has led to poor availability of new growth for bears to eat as they emerge from their den.
“But once again it’s important that people and communities manage the non-natural food sources such as garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, and barbeques. Some livestock and crops are also attractants,” he said.
“We need to manage those so they can’t be accessed for bears.”
The BC Conservation Officer Service is currently investigating two separates incidents on the Sunshine Coast where residents are suspected of feeding bears.
It is unlawful under the BC Wildlife Act to feed bears and other dangerous wildlife. It is also unlawful to negligently store attractants that may attract bears and other dangerous wildlife.
Human-animal conflicts include sightings in an area of concern, the killing of livestock, and an attack on a person.