Bear put down after charging at golfers at B.C. country club
A black bear is seen by the side of an Alberta highway in this May 2016 file image. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
VANCOUVER -- A bear that was charging at golfers and stealing their food at a Metro Vancouver country club had to be euthanized over the weekend.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service told CTV News the animal had become habituated to humans and was deemed too dangerous to relocate following multiple confrontations at the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club in Coquitlam.
"It was chasing golfers away and getting at the food in their golf bags," Sgt. Todd Hunter said. "It was a fairly big bear, too."
The first reported confrontation at the golf course happened on July 7, and authorities initially tried to discourage the behaviour by having Westwood Plateau ban food from the greens.
Hunter said the business did "an excellent job" of cracking down on potential attractants, but that the bear conflicts persisted.
On Saturday afternoon, they received more reports that the animal was charging at people. A conservation officer responded, found the bear in the immediate area and put it down.
"Unfortunately, it had to be done to ensure public safety. A bear like this is too risky to release back into the environment," Hunter said, noting that "any bear that size has a lot of power."
Authorities had also determined the same bear had a prior history of conflicts in the community.
Given its size, Hunter estimated the animal was two to five years old.
Between Saturday's conflict at the golf course and Friday's incident on the North Shore, where a 10-year-old girl was bitten on the leg, Hunter also recommended people read up on the best ways to respond to unexpected wildlife encounters.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service also encourages people to report such incidents to its RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.