Euthanized black bear was lured with food by people wanting to take video, B.C. wildlife group says
VANCOUVER -- A black bear euthanized in Metro Vancouver this summer had been lured out by people trying to take video, a local wildlife group says.
A post on Facebook from the North Shore Black Bear Society outlines the group's interactions with the bear who had lived in the Deep Cove area of North Vancouver.
The bear, nicknamed "Huckleberry" for its food preferences, was first brought to the group's attention in early July, when it was caught eating scraps from an organics cart that had been left open.
"Even though you were eating, you were very easy to move on. We walked you back to the forest and hoped to see you again on the trails," NSBBS wrote in a post last week.
Huckleberry had another encounter later that month, when it was seen eating berries at the side of a road.
"As we walked you back to the forest, you stood and sniffed a garbage can. We used a firm tone and told you to leave – you listened."
The group said from the bear's scat, they could tell it had only been eating food found in the wild.
"We were so proud of you for eating natural foods, despite all the tempting treats residents had left available to you."
The group says it encountered the bear often, and it would roll its tongue at group members, smelling the air as they walked back to the forest together.
"We knew you remembered us," the group wrote.
It was aware the bear had passed through residential properties, but that it had been easy-going and calm, so it wasn't a problem at the time.
But then reports came of the bear snacking from organics bins and garbage cans.
"People admitted they allowed you to do that for a video and they neglected to move you on… a death sentence," the NSBBS wrote.
"If only people had used a firm voice with you, you would have listened. Or respected you enough to not have any garbage or food scraps accessible in the first place. We did you a disservice, Huckleberry."
The society said the last time it saw the bear was July 31, when it was eating berries and being followed by residents who were taking video of it eating from an unlocked organics cart.
Because of the crowd, the society says, it wasn't safe to try to move the bear back into the forest, so the group left it to eat, then walk away.
Later that day, the bear was tranquilized and taken away to be euthanized, they say.
"You were willing to coexist, but people were not. You showed us every time we met that you were a good natured bear, we are deeply sorry that we couldn't save you," the NSBBS wrote.
Huckleberry's encounters with humans are among several incidents reported this summer. Last week, a Port Coquitlam woman posted video of a person approaching a bear, cellphone in hand, and following it as it tried to walk off.
A North Vancouver park was briefly closed after another bear bit a child, and conservation officers believe it had been food-conditioned and habituated to humans.
A black bear was put down in Coquitlam last month after charging at golfers and stealing their food.