A black bear, dubbed Huckleberry by Deep Cove, B.C., residents died on July 31, 2020, after becoming conditioned to food and humans. (North Shore Black Bear Society photo)

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Its name was Huckleberry and it was known by many in Deep Cove as a perfect neighbour who loved the bright red berry.

But last week, the black bear was killed by Conservation Officers after becoming accustomed to food left out by local residents – allegedly so they could take videos, the North Shore Black Bear Society claims.

The society, based in North Vancouver, had been keeping an eye out for the bear since it was first found eating scraps from an open organics bin on July 2.

“Even though you were eating, you were very easy to move on,” the society said in a Facebook post. “We walked you back to the forest and hoped to see you again on the trails.”

The society members came across Huckleberry multiple times in the weeks to come, each time using a firm tone and telling the bear to leave – which it would. Other property owners said that Huckleberry would stop by for a visit and was easily moved on.

But the society started to receive reports that the bear had developed a hankering for garbage. Most concerning, people admitted they allowed the bear to access their scraps in order to capture video instead of moving it along, the society said, calling the neglect a “death sentence.”

ALSO READ: Girl, 10, bitten on leg by bear on Lower Mainland trail

“If only people had used a firm voice with you, you would have listened. Or respected you enough to not have any garbage or food scraps accessible in the first place. We did you a disservice, Huckleberry.”

The society saw the bear for one last time on July 31, after responding to reports it was eating berries at the edge of a nearby forest. By the time staff reached the bear, Huckleberry was being followed by people trying to capture video of it eating out of an organic bin.

Society members determined it wasn’t safe to move the bear themselves, due to the crowd. The bear was tranquilized by conservation officers later that day and taken away to be euthanized.

Bears are killed, which B.C.’s conservation service refers to as “destroyed,” when they become conditioned to human food. British Columbians are urged to secure their garbage and organic bins and to keep a distance from bears.

So far this year, 14 bears have been killed. Conservation officers have responded to 103 of 624 calls received through the RAPP line. Zero have been moved to a different location.

“You were willing to coexist, but people were not. You showed us every time we met that you were a good-natured bear, we are deeply sorry that we couldn’t save you,” the society said.

“We’ll always have a place in our hearts for you, sweet boy.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Wildlife

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

Just Posted

LETTER: Want more than a promise that Highway 1 will eventually be upgraded

What is the stance of the candidates for the B.C. election?

UPDATED: Stoked Living development on Hay Rd. will move forward

Revelstoke City Council voted in favour of zoning and OCP amendments required for the project

Two candidates declared for Columbia River Revelstoke

Incumbent Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal) and NDP candidate Nicole Cherlet; nominations close Oct. 2

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

30 new COVID-19 cases reported in Central Okanagan health region in August

The 30 new cases reported in August brings the total number in region to 239

Suspects steal $30,000 in glasses from Okanagan business

Jimmy Choo, Smith, Ray Ban, Tom Ford and Maui Jims taken from optometry

Shuswap man ‘started to lose it’ after learning of lottery win

Sorrento resident wins $100,000, ticket purchased at Copper Island Pub

Okanagan Beach Club fined for not complying to COVID-19 rules, tiki bar closed

Interior Health order the tiki bar closed due to non-compliance with Provincial Health Officer orders

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Water off for some Okanagan residents

Emergency repair in Lake Country

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Most Read