A male black bear was destroyed by a conservation officer in Grand Forks Monday afternoon, Nov. 2.
Conservation officer (CO) Kyle Bueckert said he put the animal down near the Royal Canadian Legion on 6th St. at around 3:30 p.m. Two officers from Grand Forks RCMP attended the scene.
The bear posed an unacceptable safety risk to residents because it had developed a taste for area garbage, Bueckert told The Gazette. The bear recently killed and ate a rabbit that had been kept at a city home, he added.
Bueckert said he dispatched the bear quickly, and that animal did not suffer.
“I became a CO to protect wildlife,” he told The Gazette. “This afternoon, I had to do one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”
Bears typically return to places where they know they can expect to find food, he said, especially leading up to their winter hibernation.
“We do our best to prevent having to destroy bears. But, once they become food-conditioned to garbage; once they realize how easy it is to get those calories, it’s very hard to break that pattern.”
Bueckert urged residents to keep their garbage and rotting compost away from bears as much as possible.
The destroyed bear was around three years old, weighing approximately 200 pounds, he said. Bueckert added that juvenile bears are more likely to trawl for city garbage because they’re often turfed out of wild areas by older, stronger bears.