By David F. Rooney
A young bear — estimated by some people who had seen it to be between one and a half and two years of age — was shot and killed in the Big Eddy on Sunday evening after it was determined it had lost all fear of humans.
Local Mounties were forced to put down the young bear after the detachment received several calls from citizens concerned about the animal, which was roaming through backyards and down neighbourhood streets in search of food.
“Police officers made several attempts to scare off the bear with the hope it would move from the area,” Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky, the new detachment commander, said in a news release issued on Monday. “It was soon determined that the bear was not afraid of humans or vehicles and… did not respond to police. Other agencies were consulted but were unable to attend.
Local BC Conservation Officer Adam Christie was out of town at the time.
“After exhaustive efforts to for the bear from the area the bear was destroyed as humanely as possible to ensure public safety.”
By this time of year all bears should be denned up for the winter. The fact that this animal, which was also reported to be thin and vert hungry, was not attempting to hibernate led some people who had seen it to suggest its mother was dead.
Bear Aware Coordinator Sue Davies wasn’t so sure.
“Young bears usually spend their first winter hibernating with their mum and their second winter hibernating on their own,” she said.
The reports she had seen about this suggest it was on its own for the first time and had simply not found enough to eat by the time it needed to den up.
“I believe that the bear had not begun his winter sleep because, by all accounts, he was very thin and may not have had the fat reserves to survive through the winter,” she told The Current. “Bears in this situation may turn to human sources of food such as garbage and can become so conditioned to eating human food that they lose their fear of us and can become a safety concern.”
The sad fate of this starving animal is a clear warning to residents to ensure that they are not leaving their household garbage unsecured.
“These animals are really stressed if they’re still hunting for food at this time of year,” Sue said. “Please remind people to ensure their garbage is secured.”
To report a bear, coyote or cougar sighting please call Sue Davies at