Black bear caught in downtown Kamloops put down

FILE - A black bear is pictured in this photo contributed by Wildsafe B.C. A 300 pound male black bear captured in Pioneer Park in downtown Kamloops, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2015 has been euthanized.
Image Credit: Wildsafe B.C.

KAMLOOPS – A 300 pound male black bear captured in Pioneer Park in downtown Kamloops has been euthanized.

Conservation officer Jesse Jones says his office received several calls yesterday, Aug. 26, about the bear. 

“The risk to the public was very high,” Jones says.

The bear was known to the conservation officers and favoured a particular spot. There had been calls about him earlier in the week.

“There was a high likelihood of an encounter or conflict,” he says.

Conservation forced the bear up a tree where they were able to subdue it with a tranquilizer gun. It was then removed for assessment and the decision was made to euthanize the animal.

Jones says the troublesome bear was not a candidate for relocation.

“Bears are so hardwired to seek out food, they never forget where they found it,” he says.

During this time of year bears are preparing for hibernation and seek out high fat, high calorie food, he says. If bears find bird seed, pet food, fruit from fruit trees or accessible garbage in the city they will constantly return.

“Our number one mandate is public safety. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, these bears need to be euthanized.”

Jones says this is the first bear euthanized in Kamloops this year, even though there have been 49 bear sighting in the city since April.

He asks residents to manage their bear “attractants” by keeping barbeque grills clean, pet food indoors, all garbage secure and by picking fruit from trees when ripe and collecting fallen fruit from the ground.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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