A sow and her three cubs, reported on social media for several weeks to be living in Princeton, were destroyed by a Conservation Officer Saturday (File photo WildsafeBC - Facebook)

A sow and her three cubs, reported on social media for several weeks to be living in Princeton, were destroyed by a Conservation Officer Saturday (File photo WildsafeBC - Facebook)

OPINION: Conservation officers don’t kill bears – we do

A mother and three cubs were destroyed recently in a Princeton residential neighbourhood.

Four bears – a mother and three cubs – were destroyed last Saturday morning following a frightening incident in a Princeton residential neighbourhood.

A conservation officer, who had set a trap for a bear that was reported after it tried to break into a shed, was surprised to realize an entire family was involved.

At least one cub entered the trap, putting the CO between the captured cub and the sow, and shots were fired.

All four bears were put down.

READ MORE: Mother bear and three cubs put down by conservation officer in Princeton

That’s got to be a wrenching experience for someone who is trained and educated to protect wildlife, as well as enforce the law.

Considerable outrage erupted on social media after a story about the incident appeared online.

That conservation officer did not kill those bears. We did.

The bears died because they had become habituated to non-natural food sources. That is simply down to the people who leave out their garbage, don’t tidy up after their fruit trees, and place attractants like bird seed in their backyards.

It would be lovely in a storybook-sort-of-way to think that bears who are urbanized can be happily relocated to a green, leafy place in the forest.

Only that doesn’t work.

Bears dependent on human food fail in the wilderness. Even if they are dropped hundreds of miles away, they will return to their urban territory.

The idea persists that bears don’t hurt anyone. That’s probably because they are fuzzy and adorable looking.

The facts are that at least 17 people have been killed by bears in the province in the last 24 years and more than 200 were injured. Bears are wild animals. They need, and deserve, to live in the wild.

Yeah, yeah, they were here first. But we are here now and we don’t want to move.

Therefore social distancing is required.

Again, a CO didn’t kill that family of bears on the weekend. We did.

Let’s try to do better with our own behaviour, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

RELATED: Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

— Black Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Jenn and Josh McLafferty, Owners of Monashee Spirits, which distills a variety of vodka, gin, brandy, whiskey and liqueurs. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
UPDATE: Three more Revelstoke businesses close due to COVID-19 exposure

Ray’s Butcher shop, Monashee Distillery and La Baguette each had a staff member test positive

The angel tree is now up at CIBC. Pick up a tag and buy a gift for a child this holiday season. (Photo via Facebook/Amanda Cole)
Give a gift to someone in need in Revelstoke

CIBC and Community Connections angel tree is now up

Letter to the editor.
LETTER: New signs not a good use of RMI money

There are other more pressing things we need in Revelstoke

BC Transit is replacing older diesel buses in Revelstoke and the Shuswap with new light-duty gasoline buses. (Submitted/BC Transit)
BC Transit replacing buses in Revelstoke and Shuswap

The new light-duty buses will run on gasoline, replacing older diesel buses

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Garage in Kelowna burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
No injuries after fire rips through South Okanagan fruit stand

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon, closing Highway 97 for two hours

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

A major reconstruction project on 32nd Avenue is nearing completion and the road is now re-opened to traffic between 33rd Street and 35th Street. (City of Vernon photo)
ROAD REPORT: More roundabouts coming to North Okanagan

New intersection lights up Dec. 13, 30th Street paving delayed, PV Road completed in Vernon

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, families stay at a temporary evacuation center at Catanduanes province, eastern Philippines, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, as Typhoon Goni hits the country. Families living near coastal towns have moved to evacuation centers as the strong typhoon makes landfall. (Philippine Red Cross via AP)
Okanagan community group organizes fundraiser for typhoon-hit Philippines

Over two million people have been affected by flooding, with about 500,000 forced to leave homes

Most Read