A black bear who had allegedly pursued hikers twice last month was killed by conservation officers – and now they’re investigating reports that residents were feeding the bear.
North Shore News reported that the bear had learned when garbage day was in one neighbourhood, and those who encountered the bear were unable to scare him off with typically successful hazing behaviour, such as making noise and appearing large. Conservation officers state they had set a trap in August following one incident where a hiker was unable to scare off the bear, but someone or something had tampered with it.
It is quite likely that this bear was fed, if not directly, then consistently through indirect methods such as unsecured waste, pet food left outside, or even uncleaned barbecues in backyards.
We, as communities, are responsible for the attractants and bad habits that lead to bears coming into conflict with people. It is our fault when these bears are then killed – even if we’re not the ones who caused the problem, as we could have played a role in resolving it. It’s up to us to enact solutions so all of us, bears included, can focus on what matters most: raising a happy, healthy family.