Conservation officers have shot and killed three bears in the Squamish area since July 1 after the animals displayed aggressive behaviour toward humans.
Two of the incidents involved bears gaining access to garbage and/or human food because of careless storage of those food sources, Sgt. Peter Busink of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said in a statement issued on Tuesday (July 10).
One of the bears that was destroyed recently had gained access to garbage in downtown Squamish, while a second decision to shoot a bear resulted from campers leaving food and/or garbage accessible to wildlife in the Paradise Valley. The third bear was shot and killed “due to predatory behaviour on livestock” in the Squamish Valley, Busink said.
“Officers are reminding residents and campers to ensure all garbage and attractants are properly secured in bear-resistant containers,” Busink said. “Coolers and latching Tupperware containers are not bear resistant.”
Those who fail to secure their food or garbage may face a variety of charges under the B.C. Wildlife Act, which carry fines of up to $340. Officers are also reminding citizens not to stop on the side of the highway to view bears, as it creates a public safety hazard and contributes to the habituation of bears to humans, Busink said.
Charges pending in dog shooting
Charges are pending against two Lower Mainland suspects in the shooting of a pet dog last month in the Squamish Valley.
The incident occurred on June 15 near the confluence of Ashlu Creek and the Squamish River, Busink said. The two suspects are both males. Conservation officers investigating the incident have recommended that charges be laid under the Wildlife Act, he said.