Conservation officers were forced to euthanized six bears in three days after bears became habituated to garbage left out around Lake Okanagan Resort. (Contributed)

West Kelowna resort denies being fined after six bears destroyed

‘We are good with the compliance,’ said the resort’s operations manager

Okanagan Lake Resort is denying it was the business charged in relation to the euthanization of six bears, in three days, that became garbage habituated.

According to the resort’s operations manager no such fines have been served and they are in compliance with bylaws.

“Whatever the bylaw says on how to protect that area — in the resort we have all the iron, the lock, the bins for the garbage and where we compost has already been fenced for the last couple of years,” said Muhammed Palha. “We are good with the compliance.”

Palha said reports in local media are “not the reality” of the situation and he denies allegations that Lake Okanagan Resort has been fined.

On Oct. 16 conservation officer Jeff Hanratty told Capital News they had charged a West Kelowna business following continuous littering in an area around Lake Okanagan Resort, however he refused to identify the business.

He said officers were forced to destroy the bears over the Thanksgiving weekend due to safety concerns after they were spotted rummaging through unsecured garbage in the area.

“We had a group of bears that were habituated and food-conditioned with unnatural food sources that had become a threat to the public,” said Hanratty.

“We had a witness who was charged twice by the black bears, we had bears up on balconies accessing garbage and food and there’s a report of a bear pushing on a window.

“So, these bears were a high risk to the public and as a result, the bears were destroyed.”

None of these allegations have been proven in court.

-With files from Daniel Taylor

READ MORE: Six bears destroyed in three days in West Kelowna

READ MORE: Shuswap resident’s yard becomes nighttime thoroughfare for grizzlies


@michaelrdrguez
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