A trap has been set for a black bear who has been snooping around Kaien Island over the past week.
Residents reported elevated bear activity last weekend, July 8-9, and Conservation Officer Scott Senkiw investigated the situation.
“We’ve had several complaints and I have reason to believe it’s one individual,” he said on Tuesday, July 11.
The bear seems to be making a swing pattern through green space by the golf course, Senkiw said. The first report came in from Comox Avenue near the Prince Rupert Golf Club and there were more reports of sightings by Cassier Avenue.
A photo posted on the Prince Rupert Customer Review Facebook page on July 9 shows the bear riffling through garbage left on a porch. The conservation officer patrolled the area early this week and said part of the issue was access to easy food sources, such as garbage left outside, that has attracted the bear and he has worked with some people to clean it up.
But based on the reports from residents on how the bear is behaving, Senkiw said the bear is not showing any sign of fear and that could cause a volatile situation.
“It’s my professional opinion that it is now food conditioned and at that point in time there truly is no other option for a bear like that,” he said.
On Monday, he set a trap for the bear to remove it from the population.
This is the first bear report from Prince Rupert this year. Senkiw, who is based out of Terrace, said with the long drawn out winter he has noticed family units of bears in other areas, such as Kitimat, moving later than in previous years. There have also been recent reports of a bear in Metlakatla, but Senkiw said that it doesn’t seem to be showing aggressive behaviour.
Bear sightings are typical during the summer season, and Senkiw suggests that residents should try to clean the grease traps in the BBQ to the best of their ability and avoid leaving garbage out overnight. Even gardeners need to maintain their plot by removing rotting vegetables.
“A lot of it is common sense but we are a resource and we’re willing to have people phone us and we can provide direction in that regard,” Senkiw said.
He suggests calling the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277