Conservation hoping to trap mother bear and cubs in Coquitlam park
Published Thursday, July 11, 2019 11:22AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, July 12, 2019 7:52AM PDT
A section of Mundy Park in Coquitlam is closed after conservation officers set a trap in the hopes of capturing a family of black bears that have been active in the area.
The trap is located east of a public pool in an area that’s now been blocked off by tape.
Sgt. Todd Hunter with the BC Conservation Officer Service said there have been sightings of the mother and two cubs since June 9. The most recent report was July 8.
"They’ve been getting pretty close to people and accessing food left out," Hunter said.
The bears have reportedly been able to get food out of “unattended picnic baskets and backpacks," according to conservation.
"These bears need to be moved right now. Mundy Park is not a good place for them to remain. They’re just going to get into further conflict," Hunter said.
Hunter said the bears may be candidates for relocation, something that can be better determined once they’re captured and an assessment of their health can be done.
"Are they at the peak weights? Are they going to make it if we put them into a more natural setting?" Hunter said.
The City of Coquitlam has announced barbecuing, cooking and hot foods are prohibited in the park until further notice. Cold and packaged foods are still allowed, but must be disposed of properly in the bear-proof garbage bins on site.
Summer day camps will have their lunches and snacks indoors, and garbage removal and maintenance is being increased. People are being asked not to leave bags containing food unattended.
"Bottom line is that these bears were attracted because of food and food waste," Hunter said.
"They can’t make those conscious decisions on what’s right and wrong. We can."
Bylaw officers will be in Mundy Park to enforce the temporary food restrictions.
People are being asked to report sightings to the conservation service at 1-877-952-7277.