Bylaw officer crack down after another bear death

Bylaw officers are preparing to issue 41 warning letters to residents who leave their garbage outdoors.

  • Jul. 5, 2012 3:00 p.m.

Bylaw officers are preparing to issue 41 warning letters to residents who leave their garbage outdoors, after another bear had to be shot in Fernie.

The male black bear, who had an ear tag, has been seen around Fernie for the last few weeks, and finally conservation officers shot it on Sunday morning in Ridgemont.

The bear had been relocated a year ago from Lundbrick Falls in Alberta after it was found getting into bird feeders on acreages. It was moved to the headwaters of Old Man River, in Alberta, but made its way 75 km to Fernie.

Since then it has been spotted at different locations around town.

“Police have been chasing him all over town, and finally we found him chewing on a bag of garbage in Ridgemont,” said Conservation Officer, Frank de Boon.

“It goes to show that relocating bears isn’t the solution. A lot will make their way home, or in this case get disorientated and head another way.

“But once they are used to finding easy food, they won’t stop trying to find it.

“I’ve been doing this job for 25 years and it is the same people that just aren’t getting the message.”

Kathy Murray, from Bear Aware, met with the City of Fernie bylaw officer on Tuesday and agreed that it is time to start cracking

down on offenders.

“I have left pamphlets with people who I have seen leaving garbage or bird feeders out, and I have talked to so many residents, but it’s obviously just not working,” said Murray.

“So we decided to issue 41 warning letters. If they continue to break the bylaw, they will be fined.

“Bears are paying the price because people are refusing to make small changes.

“There is no excuse. Just keep your garbage in your shed, and if you don’t have a shed, keep it indoors or take it to the transfer station or dumpsters.

“For everyone’s safety, people need to start listening.”

Two bears and a cub that were feeding from garbage in Fernie were also shot last month.