VICTORIA - Conservation officers say complaints about bears in communities throughout British Columbia have nearly doubled since last year.

Chris Doyle, deputy chief with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, says officers received 8,900 calls about black bears between April 1 and Aug. 1 of this year, up from 4,900 such complaints during the same period in 2016.

He says most of the calls are about bears getting into human “attractants,” like garbage or fruit trees in developed areas.

An officer's response will depend on the bear's behaviour, and Doyle says that may include relocating or destroying the animal.

He could not give figures for how many bears had been euthanized this year, but says when bear conflicts rise then the number of animals destroyed also goes up.

He says a variety of factors could be contributing to the increase in human-bear conflicts, including an increased bear population and a wet, cold spring leading to less ripe fruit for the animals to eat in the wild.