Bear that swiped at tourist in Burnaby put down
Published Tuesday, June 25, 2019 8:02AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2019 6:07PM PDT
A black bear who swatted at a tourist in Burnaby Mountain Park on Monday afternoon has now been located by conservation officers and put down.
Sgt. Simon Gravel said they got a call around 2:30 p.m. that a bear had been spotted near one of the traps set up in the area.
Gravel told CTV News Vancouver the bear was eating garbage close to a residential neighbourhood.
The conservation service had a photo of the bear from the park incident, and also ended up matching paw and bite marks found at the scene.
The bear was shot and killed by officers.
"It was a large male, adult, healthy. But after talking with multiple people in the residential area, this bear has been seen in garbage for weeks. So we know it was a habituated bear, food-conditioned," Gravel said.
On Monday afternoon, the bear approached people having a picnic in the park. Conservation officers say the animal went after a backpack with food in it, and then swatted a woman visiting from the United States - leaving a minor scratch.
"It's very unusual a bear would be so comfortable to approach people like this and seek some food at proximity," Gravel said Monday. "It's often the result of a bear that became very habituated to humans and food conditions. It is a hazard and this bear can be dangerous."
Half a dozen conservation officers responded to the incident, along with Burnaby RCMP. Several trails in the area were closed, including the Trans Canada Trail, Ridgeview, Burnwood and Gnome's Home.
People were asked to avoid the area, but the park remained busy throughout the day. Three separate traps were set up, baited with attractants like sardines and molasses.
A necropsy will be performed on the bear.
"It is a sad outcome for the bear, obviously, but when a bear reaches this level of conflict, public safety is the priority," Gravel said.
The conservation service is reminding people to keep their distance from bears and keep attractants including garbage out of reach.
So far this season, the BC Conservation Service says they've received 2,200 black bear calls. Forty-six bears had been destroyed up until this latest call, and 12 were relocated.
Last year, there were 4,500 calls, with 81 bears were destroyed and 21 relocated.