Bears coming into communities attracted to improperly stored garbage or fruit remain the biggest source of wildlife conflicts in B.C. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

Bear conflicts keep B.C. Conservation Officers busy

Wildlife viewing business faces six charges for baiting bears

B.C. Conservation Officers have handled 9,500 human-wildlife conflicts since April 1, most involving bears attracted to improperly stored food or garbage.

In one case the bear baiting appears to have been intentional, Chris Doyle, deputy chief of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said Thursday. A wildlife tour company that offers jet boat and four-by-four tours in Blue River B.C. faces charges under B.C.’s Wildlife Act for placing attractants for wildlife.

Doyle said the investigation started in August 2017 when a complaint came in about bears being fed to draw them in for viewing. Blue River Safari faces six charges, with a court date set for Sept. 25 in Clearwater.

Another case that caused a social media storm involved people apparently feeding a bear through the patio door of a home in West Vancouver. Doyle said the investigation is ongoing.

Two cases of people being attacked by grizzly bears have been reported so far this season. Both were cases of mother bears defending their cubs, so Conservation Officers didn’t pursue the bears and ask everyone to be alert to this hazard.

RELATED: Kayaker mauled by grizzly bear

Another investigation involved a camp employee on Howe Sound who was bitten by a cougar.

Fishing enforcement continues, as well as checks for out-of-province boats that may be bringing invasive mussels into B.C. So far this year 15 boats fouled with mussels have been located at boat launch checks around the province.

A boater was arrested in Qualicum Beach and charged with unlawful guiding for salmon fishing, with a court appearance set for Aug. 15 in Port Alberni.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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