Bear complaints nearly double across B.C.

Conservation service says they received nearly 9,000 calls about black bears between April and August.

Complaints about bears in communities throughout British Columbia have nearly doubled since last year, according to the provincial conservation service.

Officers received 8,900 calls about black bears between April 1 and Aug. 1 of this year, up from 4,900 such complaints during the same period in 2016, said Chris Doyle, deputy chief with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

RELATED: Bear conflicts on the rise in B.C.

Hundreds of calls have also been received about encounters with grizzly bears, Doyle said in an interview on Wednesday.

Most of the complaints are about bears getting into human “attractants,” like garbage or fruit trees in developed areas, Doyle said.

“We’ve got everything from complaints of a bear in a yard to a bear sighting, a bear getting into garbage, right to bears breaking into houses and a few calls about bears injuring people,” he said.

A number of factors could be contributing to the increase in human-bear conflicts, including an increased bear population and a wet, cold spring, Doyle added.

RELATED: Conservation expecting highest number of bears in recent years

“That delayed some of the natural food from ripening,” he said. “So that brought bears into conflict and some of them have stayed in conflict. And typically when a bear gets into conflict, the level of conflict will escalate.”

An officer’s response will depend on the behaviour of the bear, and Doyle said that may include relocating or destroying the animal.

He could not give figures for how many bears had been euthanized this year, but said when bear conflicts rise then the number of animals destroyed also goes up.

RELATED: Officers forced to kill four bears on Vancouver Island

The public can help cut back on human-bear conflicts, by securing garbage, removing fruit from trees and staying away from wildlife, Doyle said.

Anyone found feeding wild animals could be fined or charged, and many municipalities frequented by bears have bylaws around disposing of materials that could attract the animals.

“Ultimately, we know conflict will occur and a lot of it is preventable so we really hammer home the message about securing attractants around businesses and residences,” Doyle said.

Nature could also help decrease the numbers in the late summer and fall if berry crops and fish runs are good this year, he added.

Just Posted

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Strike could start Monday for handyDart

BC Transit warns users to find alternate transportation

GALLERY: Giants host Royals in WHL action

Photos from the Vancouver Giants clash with the Victoria Royals at the Langley Events Centre

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

Man hospitalized after early morning Sooke Road crash

Police say injuries are non life-threatening

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

LETTER: Proposal for Cordova Bay Plaza not approved yet

“Residents of Saanich need to know all the details with regards to this project as if approved, the ramifications will be wide spread”

LETTER: The sewage spiral continues in Greater Victoria

My left brain has been trying to digest the news and comments… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Most Read