Mama bear and four cubs euthanized in Houston

“We had no choice,” says conservation officer

  • Sep. 6, 2018 1:30 a.m.

Police search for a mamma bear and her four cubs at Jamie Baxter Park in Houston on Sept. 5. (Submitted photo)

The police search for a mama bear and her four cubs at Jamie Baxter Park in Houston yesterday did not end well for the bears.

According to Smithers Conservation Officer Flint Knibbs, all bears had to be euthanized.

READ MORE: Police search for mama bear and cubs in Houston

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service had been receiving reports of bears in and around Jamie Baxter Park for over a month.

“They had been aggressive with people on multiple occasions,” Knibbs told Houston Today. “We’ve had reports of children being chased, the bear charged RCMP on several occasions, and given the location being right beside the park and the trails that go up and down the hill there, we had no choice; for public safety reasons the bears needed to be destroyed.”

“It’s never good for us to have to put down so many bears, but when they’re charging people and chasing kids, the human safety aspect has to take precedence,” he added.

According to Knibbs, the bears had a big incentive to hang out in and around the park.

“I think what happened with Jamie Baxter is that whole hillside had a really good berry crop on it, and so with the campground being closed there, they had essentially just taken up residence – living on the campground and eating berries on the hillside for a month,” he explained.

“Buck Creek is essentially dry right now, so the salmon that usually go up Buck Creek are sitting down in the Upper Bulkley, right where Buck Creek comes in, and the bears have been down there eating fish carcasses as well.”

“So it was a whole bunch of factors – having a large food source, a mama bear that was being protective of her cubs, and people being where the bears are – it led to a worst case scenario for us.”

When asked if there is a connection between wildfires and bears in the community, Knibbs said he doesn’t believe that to be the case.

“We certainly heard that rumour as well, but this is that time of year when bears are trying to put on as much weight as they can,” he said. “Because bears are trying to put on weight right now in order to be fat enough to hibernate in the winter time, they’re eating everything in sight, and we’re continuing to get calls about bears being in the people’s garbage and people’s fruit trees around the Houston area.”

Knibbs requested that residents “clean up their yards,” making sure there are no attractants left.

“If people have a clean yard and there’s no food in it, there’s no reason for a bear to come and hang out there,” he said. “But when people have apple trees, which is a really common one for us, they are not picking up the apples and the bears get in there and start eating the apples.”

“It puts people in danger, bears in danger and it’s just not good all around,” he added. “If people can have their yards free of any sort of attractant, that definitely helps the situation.”


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Prince Rupert youth rugby receives new gear

Port of Prince Rupert contributed $24,215 to help purchase training equipment and instruction

WEB POLL: How will the lack of a mayoral race affect your decision to vote

Lee Brain was acclaimed as mayor on Sept. 21 after no other candidate entered the 2018 race

CMTN unveils renovated House of Cedar

$18.4M upgrade and renovation cited as key to modern trades training

Mr. “I’ll do it” given volunteer of the year honours by International Sailors Society

Morris Kaardal honored with volunteer award on Sept. 18 at Prince Rupert Seafarers’s Mission

Toy Run aims to break its own record

With sun in the forecast Harley Riders’ president hopes to see more riders at the Prince Rupert event

This Week Podcast — Episode 103

Learn more Prince Rupert’s open air market, and our guest is an actor playing in Monkey Beach

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read