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A taste for garbage spelled the end for bear in Parksville

A male adult bear was destroyed June 23 in Parksville after getting into a north end business' garbage, according to conversation officer Stuart Bates.

"It (the bear) became accustomed to people," said Bates. "I personally saw him twice myself within 20 yards."

Bates said conservation officers set up a trap and six days later caught the bear.  "This serves as a good reminder for residents to secure their garbage," he said, noting the business who originally attracted the bear has since secured its garbage in a compound.

Bates said people should keep their garbage inside a shed or garage until the day it is scheduled to be picked up.

Bates said June is mating season for bears.

On June 20 conservation officers received three reports of a single bear getting into chicken coops in the Bowser region.

Shortly thereafter Bates said a bear in the area was tranquilized, however, officers later received reports leading them to believe the tranquilized bear was the mother of three cubs found nearby. Bates said he doesn’t believe this was the same bear getting into chicken coops and the mother bear was later released to gather her cubs.

“We would only shoot a mother bear with cubs in dire circumstances,” said Bates, adding the single bear getting into chicken coops was not located but COs have received no further reports.

“We destroy bears not on their presence but on their behaviour,” Bates explained. “If they (bears) become conditioned (to humans), if they start getting into food, seed or garbage; if they attack livestock of become human-habituated meaning they lose their fear of people.”

To report a conflict with wildlife that threatens public safety call 1-877-952-7277.

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