October 09, 2013 - 9:55 AM
VERNON - A black bear's adventure into the wrong neck of the woods this morning was its misfortune.
Around 4 a.m. an officer noticed the 200 pound bear not 50 feet from where his police car was parked at the back of the RCMP detachment on 35 Avenue.
According to Cpl. Gerry Kovaks, the bear wandered down the street and up a nearby tree. The Conservation Service was called, but no one could be reached at the early hour.
“We gave him some time to move along,” Kovaks says. “Then as morning continued, and we got closer to school time, a decision had to be made with public safety in mind. There’s an elementary school less than a block away, we’re right in the downtown core. We’re going to have the city come to life in two hours, we can’t have a 200 pound bear walking around.”
Still unable to reach conservation officers, Kovaks says police had to make the difficult decision to destroy the bear. One shot from a police service gun did the job.
“It’s always unfortunate when these things have to happen,” Kovaks says. “We hate to see that. But the bottom line is it’s a safety issue.”
Conservation officers have since been on scene and removed the approximately two year old bear.
Kovaks says a bear at police headquarters is a first for him in Vernon, but not in his career. Years ago when he was stationed in Revelstoke, he says it was a common occurrence.
“Sometimes (destroying the bear) is the only alternative we are left with,” he says.
Recently, an orphaned black bear that had been hanging out atop a power pole in Lumby was taken to a rebahilitation centre, and earlier in the summer, another bear paid an unusual visit to a horse.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013