Bear complaints nearly double across B.C.

Conservation service says they received nearly 9,000 calls about black bears between April and August.

Complaints about bears in communities throughout British Columbia have nearly doubled since last year, according to the provincial conservation service.

Officers received 8,900 calls about black bears between April 1 and Aug. 1 of this year, up from 4,900 such complaints during the same period in 2016, said Chris Doyle, deputy chief with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

RELATED: Bear conflicts on the rise in B.C.

Hundreds of calls have also been received about encounters with grizzly bears, Doyle said in an interview on Wednesday.

Most of the complaints are about bears getting into human “attractants,” like garbage or fruit trees in developed areas, Doyle said.

“We’ve got everything from complaints of a bear in a yard to a bear sighting, a bear getting into garbage, right to bears breaking into houses and a few calls about bears injuring people,” he said.

A number of factors could be contributing to the increase in human-bear conflicts, including an increased bear population and a wet, cold spring, Doyle added.

RELATED: Conservation expecting highest number of bears in recent years

“That delayed some of the natural food from ripening,” he said. “So that brought bears into conflict and some of them have stayed in conflict. And typically when a bear gets into conflict, the level of conflict will escalate.”

An officer’s response will depend on the behaviour of the bear, and Doyle said that may include relocating or destroying the animal.

He could not give figures for how many bears had been euthanized this year, but said when bear conflicts rise then the number of animals destroyed also goes up.

RELATED: Officers forced to kill four bears on Vancouver Island

The public can help cut back on human-bear conflicts, by securing garbage, removing fruit from trees and staying away from wildlife, Doyle said.

Anyone found feeding wild animals could be fined or charged, and many municipalities frequented by bears have bylaws around disposing of materials that could attract the animals.

“Ultimately, we know conflict will occur and a lot of it is preventable so we really hammer home the message about securing attractants around businesses and residences,” Doyle said.

Nature could also help decrease the numbers in the late summer and fall if berry crops and fish runs are good this year, he added.

Just Posted

Bear spotted in Qualicum Beach

Full-grown bear spotted in complex at Berwick and Rupert roads

Canadians on epic journey arrive in Nanoose

Snaw-Naw-As First Nation welcomes participants of Canada C3 voyage

Kwalikum Secondary student back from year in Netherlands

Don’t pass up opportunity to travel with Qualicum Beach Rotary’s help, says Taylor Hunter

Resident slam loud dynamite blasting at Cedar Ridge Estate development

Sleigh feels insulted by Mayor Lefebrve who failed to understand their suffering

RDN creates new service to fund INfilm

Regional district to enter three year agreement with film commision for annual funding of $50,000

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Community Park master plan open house

People invited to drop in Oct. 28 to Parksville Community and Conference Centre

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Errington Mushroom Festival draws a crowd

Interest continues to grow in event’s third year on mid-Island

Gens split weekend in Parksville

Junior B hockey club tops Westshore, falls to Victoria in home games

NIC instructor describes ‘unprecedented’ astronomical discovery

Gold falling from the sky. While North Island College physics instructor Jennifer… Continue reading

Amazon gets 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Submissions were due last week. Online retailer has said tax breaks and grants would be factors

Most Read