A fifth bear has been shot in Fernie, after conservation officers were not able to scare him away from Fernie Alpine Resort.
The male black bear, aged two to three years, was hanging around at the bottom of the Elk Chair and around the new zip line area at the resort on Sunday. Staff at the resort attempted to scare him away, using bear bangers, and conservation officer Frank de Boon threw rocks at him, but the bear would not leave.
“The bear was obviously not afraid of people,” said De Boon. “He’d been hanging around ski hill residences for the last two months and on Sunday he was hanging around the ski left areas.
“It was community appreciation day so there were hundreds of people around.”
De Boon attempted to trap the bear but that also failed. The bear wandered into a residence on Highline Drive, pushing the screen door open, surprising the homeowner who was lying on the couch.
He had also tried to get into the Griz Inn. He was finally shot on Monday afternoon.
“Bird feeders and garbage attract these bears, and then they become habituated to people and not scared of them. Tourists may also even approach bears to get photos, which also educated them to not fear people.”
De Boon praised the staff at Fernie Alpine Resort for managing the situation to avoid conflict.
“The ski hill did a great job of keeping bears and people separated and closing the lifts and trails as needed,” he said.
“They do whatever is necessary, even if it means inconveniencing guests.”
This bear is the fifth in the last month to be shot in Fernie. At least another three have been hit by cars in the South Country.