Garbage blamed for deaths of three bears

Garbage left out by residents is being blamed for the deaths of three bears, shot by conservation officers this week.

  • Jun. 14, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Garbage left out by residents is being blamed for the deaths of three bears, shot by conservation officers this week.

Two adult bears and one cub have been shot in Fernie over the last week, after they became used to foraging for food in garbage cans. First, a sow was shot on Friday night in Elkview Drive. The bear had been seen over the last few weeks in the Ridgemont, downtown, and Elkview areas, getting into garbage in people’s homes, as well as birdfeeders. “This sow had been showing signs of aggression, hanging out in cul de sacs in the afternoons, chasing cats, and even turned on someone and their dog,” said Conservation Officer, Frank de Boon. “It wasn’t safe to have her in town.” The sow had two cubs with her. Conservation officers shot one on Monday night and conservation officers are still looking for the other one. “Unfortunately these cubs are not going to survive alone, and have been taught that foraging in garbage is how to find food,” said De Boon. “And zoos are not interested in them because black bears are so common. So unfortunately they have to be killed.” Another male brown coloured black bear was trapped and destroyed in Mount Trinity on Sunday. He had become very bold, wandering through people’s yards during the day, getting into garbage over the last week. De Boon is also concerned about a two-year-old black bear with an ear tag, seen in the Ridgemont, downtown and airport areas over the last week. De Boon says he has come from Alberta and hopes he will move along before needing to be destroyed. “Try to scare bears away if you can, so they don’t hang around people,” said De Boon. “The idea is to make life in town as uncomfortable as possible for them. This is a lot of bears to be seeing at this time of the year, and partly it is because of the late, wet spring, but mostly it’s because people are not managing their garbage properly. “Help us keep bears wild.” It is also very important to call in sightings to 1-877-952-7277.

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