It was a busy year for Conservation Officer Service when it came to dealing with wildlife-human conflicts in Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.
Sergeant Jeff Tyre for the Cariboo Chilcotin Zone goes over the numbers.
“Each office took in over 500 calls for human-wildlife conflict. The majority of those calls were related to black bear conflict, and of those calls, the majority of those were also related to unnatural attractants. Those attractants are barbecues, beehives, garbage, fruit trees, pet food, compost and bird feeders. Another portion of those calls that came in was related to livestock depredation, sheep, goats, chickens, and the odd one for cattle usually calves.”
We asked Tyre how does this year’s statistics look compared to last year.
“100 Mile House and Williams Lake both saw an increase in calls.” Tyre said, “Williams Lake almost doubled in those conflict calls specifically to black bears. A third of the calls in Williams Lake was injured deer which is mostly related to motor vehicle accidents with these animals, those were up as well. Quesnel was actually on an even keel, the calls were just about the same. We had a Wildlife Safety Response Officer working there and that Officer did a lot of outreach by educating people how they could avoid that conflict by dealing with attractants.”
Tyre added that bears are always going to be a part of our community so the more we can do to reduce that conflict especially with garbage is going to reduce the number of bears we have to put down, which is what I think the public and the CO’s (Conservation Officers) would like to see.