Just the facts: the Conservation Officer Service and bear killings

Just the facts: the Conservation Officer Service and bear killings

The Conservation Officer Service has stuck to their guns on why they kill so many bears in British Columbia. Let’s look at their messaging and compare it to the bare facts.

“Conservation officers… they have no interest in destroying wildlife — that’s the last thing they want to do,” COS Inspector Murray Smith told the Daily Hive Vancouver this week. It’s consistent with what the Conservation Officer Service has said all summer, while killing 249 black bears through July (latest available data set).

How often are black bears killed?

As revealed in the Daily Hive article, the COS issued a total of 12 tickets and fines between January to June 10, 2019. In just April and May 2019, the COS killed 113 black bears. In the available statistics from April 2019 to July 2019, the Conservation Officer Service “attended” 1,219 black bear calls, killing 249 bears, translocating three bears, hazing 54 (times or bears, it isn’t clear which), and sending 31 cubs to rehab.

That means that on average, when a Conservation Officer attended a black bear scene from April to June, the bear(s) were:

  • Killed 20% of the time
  • Hazed 4% of the time
  • Translocated 0.24% of the time

What are the facts?

Here are some other facts that may be of relevance when considering COS messaging:

The COS says they don’t want to kill bears. But when the facts are added up, the veneer of a public relations message melts away and only the truth remains.

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