PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. -- Two bears families frequently spotted in a Port Coquitlam, B.C., playground were relocated and then euthanized.

Four cubs and two mothers were destroyed last week. They were showing no fear, and were clearly attracted to the area by easy access to unsecured garbage cans.

"I don't like that. I don't like to see any bears destroyed, period," said Mel Johnson, whose house lies next to Fox Park, where some of the bears were found.

Conservation officers tracked the bears for several months before they were put down, and said it was difficult to do.

"Oh, it definitely breaks my heart," said Sgt. Todd Hunter with the B.C. Conservation Officers Service.

And he said it was especially hard knowing that it's possible their deaths could have been prevented if humans were more responsible with their trash.

"What breaks my heart the most is people are not getting it," he said.

Despite several complaint about the bears from the public, many neighbours say there was no reason to kill the animals.

"They were playing, rolling around, jumping on each other, just having a really good time," said local resident Loni Stepan.

But officers insist they had no choice.

"If we did not intervene in these things, we're assuming a massive responsibility," argued Hunter.