Conservation Officer Dan Bartol. ~ Photo by Alex Cooper, Revelstoke Review

Conservation Officer Dan Bartol. ~ Photo by Alex Cooper, Revelstoke Review

Conservation Officers destroy bear in Revelstoke

Death of bear prompts Conservation Officers to issue reminder to secure attractants

A bear was destroyed in the Big Eddy earlier this month, prompting Conservation Officers to remind people of the importance of securing wildlife attractants.

“We’re getting into the busy season right now. Bears are going to start looking for easy food sources down low,” Conservation Officer Alex Desjardins told the Review Tuesday morning. “I think from last year’s lessons, we shouldn’t forget what happened and we should secure attractants.”

The bear was destroyed in the Tum Tum part of the Big Eddy on Sunday, May 14, after it entered a home several times in search of food.

CO Dan Bartol said the young bear first entered the home by a doggy door while the owners were away. It returned to the home several times in search of food.

The COs set a trap for the bear and when the bear returned to the home, it was caught. “Being food conditioned to that level, it was a candidate for euthanization,” said Bartol. “We had no alternative.”

For the two COs, the situation illustrates how carefully people have to think about securing attractants.

“People have to think broadly and creatively,” said Bartol. “A bear is going to make a lot of effort to get food, so people have to make a lot of effort to make sure they don’t get fed.”

In other news, a man was found guilty and fined $575 for attracting dangerous wildlife and killing a bear with 100 metres of a residence.

Desjardins said the incident happened last summer near Weird Woods Road. “The bear had become habituated to fruit trees and the residents chose not to call the RAPP line,” he said. “It became problematic over a two week period and the bear developed a loss of fear of humans. The resident decided to take matters into his own hands and shot the bear from his residence.”

It is illegal for someone to kill dangerous wildlife, unless it is an imminent threat to your safety. “If bears are accessing attractants, people need to call the RAPP line and let Conservation Officers assess and deal with the situation,” said Desjardins.

Bartol, who was at the centre of last year’s controversial bear deaths, said they have been getting reports of bear sightings in Revelstoke and Golden over the last few weeks.

“It’s only going to be on the increase if people don’t make an effort to secure their attractants,” he said. “I still see a lot of very obvious attractants that are going to have bears visiting.”

The COs asked that if you see a bear of other dangerous wildlife, call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

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