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Five bears destroyed in Penticton

Five bears were destroyed in the Wiltse neighbourhood of Penticton yesterday, Oct. 24, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Wildsafe B.C.
October 25, 2019 - 7:23 AM

Penticton conservation officers destroyed five black bears near Wiltse Elementary School in Penticton yesterday.

B.C. Conservation Officer Service spokesperson Pamela Roth said the officers had no choice but to shoot the bears after they became habituated to garbage.

The bears had lost their fear of humans and were a significant safety concern, Roth said in an email.

The Conservation office has received several calls about aggressive bears roaming residential neighbourhoods, in addition to more reports yesterday morning about the five bears near the Wiltse schoolyard.

“These bears were not candidates for relocation or rehabilitation as their lack of fear of humans and habituation to non-natural food make them far too dangerous to the public,” Roth said.

She said the conservation officer service is stressing residents secure bear attractants around their homes to keep bears and people safe.

“By properly managing garbage, compost, birdseed and other attractants, we can prevent such conflicts from happening in the first place. That is a problem that is human-caused and avoidable. Conservation officers are patrolling for bear attractants in residential, recreational, and commercial areas in audits across B.C.,” Roth said.

It's been a bad month for bears in the Okanagan valley. Earlier this month, a West Kelowna firm was fined for aiding habituation after six bears were destroyed in that community.


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