B.C. bear encounters soar with good weather, poor berries (with VIDEO)

Conservation officers contend with aggressive grizzly near Squamish, urge caution as wildlife conflicts surge

Grizzly bear near Squamish.

A surge in conflicts between people and bears since September has B.C. conservation officers urging more caution.

Nearly 2,500 human-wildlife conflicts were reported since Sept. 1, with high levels of bear encounters in the Kootenays, South Coast, Okanagan and Cariboo.

Part of it is the season as bears try to fatten up before winter, said Chris Doyle, deputy chief of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

“This time of year we can expect the bears to be trying to consume more calories before they go to den and we tend to expect higher levels of conflict in the fall,” he said.

Good September weather has meant lots of people enjoying the outdoors where they may run into bears, but Doyle said weather may have also hurt the food supply.

“Some areas are experiencing less than ideal berry crop conditions,” he said. “In the alpine it appears some of those berries didn’t develop due to conditions earlier.”

ATV riders near Squamish recently found their trail home blocked by an aggressive grizzly bear that wouldn’t let them pass. Conservation officers managed to scare the grizzly bear away. (See video above.)

“The grizzly bear had been feeding on a black bear so the grizzly bear was protecting its kill site from the ATV operators and that was the reason it was showing some level of aggression,” Doyle said.

Cranbrook conservation officers also captured a female grizzly bear that had been feeding near the east Kootenay community of Skookumchuck.

Officers are also watching out for two “island-hopping” grizzlies last spotted in the Pearse Islands off Telegraph Cove on northern Vancouver Island.

In Revelstoke, officers issued 16 dangerous wildlife protection orders to residents or businesses that had not taken enough care to avoid attracting bears.

Poaching bears for the illegal trade in their parts remains a concern.

Doyle said simultaneous arrests and raids were recently conducted in Surrey and Cache Creek targeted suspected bear parts traffickers. Charges have not yet been laid.

Doyle noted possession and trafficking of bear parts is illegal even if the bear was legally harvested.

He said charges may also result from an investigation into a bow hunter alleged to have killed a female grizzly bear outside Powell River, where it was feeding.

Wildlife rescue facilities have also had to take on more young bears.

Three bear cubs were recently rescued near New Denver after a sow was struck and killed by a vehicle, while another was rescued in Kitwanga after its mother was critically injured.

Just Posted

Prince Rupert officer charged after pedestrian struck at crosswalk

A man suffered a broken leg and head lacerations after being struck by the police vehicle in 2017

Muddy water found in taps at Prince Rupert hospital prompts investigation

Northern Health to hire consultant to examine three facilities for potential contamination

Column: A salmon fisheries collapse is a terrifying thought

How a potential sockeye and chinook closure will affect fishers in Northern B.C.

In Our Opinion: Rupert is not a personal landfill

Now that spring is here, the garbage that has been dumped all over Kaien Island is more evident

Seawolves win all five games in provincial championships

Prince Rupert’s bantam team defeat Langley 2-1 after a tough match in the finals

This Week Podcast — Episode 77

Members of Complete Streets for Prince Rupert speak on the show on how to improve pedestrian safety

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. gives tax breaks to jumpstart LNG in northwest

LNG income tax scrapped, break on sales tax for producers

Rupert the therapy bunny sidelined due to deadly virus outbreak

Chilliwack’s famous therapy rabbit quarantined for his own safety, people not at risk

BCHL Today: Wenatchee goes Wild against Vernon Vipers

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

B.C’s Indigenous tourism takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to imbue the industry with authenticity

B.C. landlords collect too much personal information, watchdog says

Report suggests low vacancy rates lead landlords to believe they can collect whatever info they want

Quebec daycare subsidies offer warning for B.C., study says

Over-55 women more likely to join paid workforce than young mothers

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Most Read