Why More Bears Than Usual Are Being Put Down By Conservation Officers

Conservation officers have had to put down a much higher number of bears compared to last year.

Photo caption/credit: @HueTube via Twenty20

Conservation officers have had to put down a much higher number of bears compared to last year. And with a poor berry crop due to colder spring weather, along with more anglers on the Kitimat River because of the Skeena and Nass River mostly being closed, the number of human-bear interactions is higher than normal. 

“If you averaged it out over, say, the last 10 years, we’re in one of the years where, you know, interactions are very high and we are having a number of conflicts that have resulted in the destruction of bears,” Sgt. Tracy Walbauer of the Terrace Conservation Officer Service told the Northern Sentinel.  

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Walbauer isn’t casting blame on the bears though. “There’s always bears that test the limits, you know, between humans and themselves,” he explained. “I don’t think bears are acting any more aggressive or less aggressive than they have in previous years, but you know, they’re hungry. They’re sourcing out food sources.”

Three years ago, conservation officers also had to destroy more bears than usual because of a small berry crop. Killing bears isn’t the only option though. Earlier this month officers relocated a rare Spirit bear that got into a cabin freezer in Rosswood, the Terrace Standard reported

There were a fair number of bear sightings last year, including this amazing video that Cari McGillivray shot of two grizzly bears fighting alongside the highway.

Video by Cari McGillivray

Written by Skeena Strong

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