Bear put down near Grand Forks City Hall/Credit Union

It was a sad ending for a black bear that wandered into downtown After several hours of waiting and watching, the black bear was put down.

The adult male black bear spent the morning and into the afternoon up a tree downtown

It was a sad ending for a black bear that wandered into downtown on Monday. After several hours of waiting and watching, the black bear was put down.

According to conservation officer Dave Webster, he starting receiving calls about a mature male black bear wandering into town around 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Shortly after, the bear climbed up a tree in front of the Grand Forks Credit Union and across from city hall, where he proceeded to stay for several hours into the afternoon. This was a bear Webster had received many calls about for the last week, including one incidence of the bear getting into a car.

While people gathered around and took photos, Webster said city workers and police tried to keep the area clear. Webster said the presence of so many people further agitated the bear, discouraging him from leaving the tree.

Webster said that eventually the decision had to be made to put the bear down, given the risks it posed for public safety.

“If he came down and someone startled him, that [responsibility] lies with me and no one else,” Webster said. “It’s easy for people to say we should have left him … and it would have been fine. That might have happened. But if it hadn’t happened, whatever did happen would be my responsibility.”

Webster said its important to remember that no one wants this outcome for wildlife, and it is as much a “people problem” as it is a bear problem. The community needs to take responsibility for attracting the bears to town, including putting their garbage out too early before pick up and not picking the fruit on their trees. At this time of year when bears are bulking up for the winter and food becomes more scarce, that behaviour is irresponsible, Webster said.

“If we clean up our act this bear has no reason to be here,” he said.

The incident has sparked a great deal of backlash, especially on Facebook, with accusations being levelled at Webster and many commenting that they are ashamed of the treatment of wildlife. Webster said that the provincial policy he must follow does not allow for trap and release in cases of adult male bears because of the risk they pose and the likelihood that they will come back into town, especially when they have been reported in town before.

“Someone could have been seriously hurt or worse.”

 

Just Posted

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

UPDATED: Hydro lines down near Moyie

Hydro lines affecting traffic on Highway 3 south of Moyie.

VIDEO: Three workers identified as victims of Fernie ammonia leak

A local state of emergency will remain in effect until Oct. 24 after the leak at the ice rink

Fire department looks to attract new members

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue is recruiting.

BREAKING: Three fatalities confirmed at Fernie Memorial Arena

Emergency crews responded to the arena after reports came in of an ammonia leak

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read