Young black bear hides out for hours in B.C. backyard
VANCOUVER -- Update: A B.C. man is under investigation for violations of the Wildlife Act after taking an emaciated bear cub from his neighbour's backyard to a local wildlife centre. Read more here. The original story follows.
Residents of a small Metro Vancouver community are expressing concern after a small bear made itself at home in an Anmore, B.C. backyard.
According to Mike and Corinne Robson, a bear cub spent hours in their neighbour's backyard Wednesday. The bear even curled up under a table on their back porch.
"The bear's very tiny. If it's maybe 15 pounds I'd be surprised," Corinne told CTV News Vancouver, adding that she's worried something happened to the young bear's mother.
Corinne hoped the bear could be taken to Critter Care Wildlife Society, a rehabilitation centre in Langley, B.C., that has room for the cub. However, when she spoke the agency, they said a conservation officer had to be the one to bring the bear in.
Corinne made a report to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service by phone, but said she was concerned the bear cub would be destroyed if officers came to investigate.
"We get bears on our street all the time during the year because we're so close to the woods," she said. "I've never called (conservation) before because I'm always worried that they're going to come out and kill the bear."
But Corinne said when she got a call back from a conservation officer, she said they told her the service doesn't get involved with cubs after Aug. 1.
"I asked him what would happen if I took the bear to Critter Care and he said I would be arrested and go to jail for interfering with wildlife," Corinne said.
Mike said he would have taken the bear to the centre himself if he wasn't afraid of being arrested.
"I'm just worried that it might die before anybody does anything to help it," he said.
B.C. Conservation Officer Service said it received the report, but didn't have a lot of history about the bear in the area and couldn't confirm it was a cub or was in distress.
"Bears are known to come out of their sleep cycles and wander off from time to time," the BCCOS said in an email to CTV News Vancouver. "Officers have left the bear overnight and will be assessing the bear and area to determine if the bear is in distress and its condition."
BCCOS said officers would respond to the report on Thursday.
"People are not encouraged to intervene due to safety," BCCOS said. "These are wild animals and unpredictable."
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Penny Daflos