A recent birthday party in Brackendale was interrupted by the shooting of a black bear that had been the source of more than 40 complaints over the past two months.
During that time, attempts to trap and relocate the problem bear in Brackendale were unsuccessful. The same bear had eluded the live trap time and time again, and had become habituated to garbage and humans in the area.
Because he became a danger to many residents and was a serious safety concern, the bear was shot and killed by RCMP officers on Saturday, May 15 in the driveway of a home on Dogwood Place in Brackendale.
"Our member used a variety of bear aversion techniques on this bear but they did not effectively scare the bear away," said RCMP Sgt. Colin Worth. "He [the officer who shot the bear] felt he didn't have any choice but to protect the people."
Conservation officers normally deal with such situations, but they were unavailable to attend to the situation, so the RCMP were called in to investigate.
"If we're not available, they're the only other agency that's able to respond," said Conservation Officer Chris Doyle.
"That was the one bear we were attempting to catch," Doyle said. "The bear was definitely conditioned to garbage and habituated to humans - he became a danger."
Const. Terry Reynolds, the RCMP member who shot the animal, had responded to four bear complaints in the same area during last few days, and said the four complaints were generated by the same bear. The last complaint came from a home where a children's birthday party was under way.
Reynolds had tried to utilize different types of bear aversion techniques such as the use of loud screechers and beanbag guns, but to no avail.
Doyle has also fielded several calls about a prowling coyote in Squamish. The coyote, originally spotted in the Raven/Finch Drive area, has reportedly killed one domestic cat and attacked or threatened several dogs.
"People may want to be aware the there is a coyote in the area and to keep an eye out," said Doyle. "Because they are a predatory animal, dog and cat owners should keep a close eye on their pets."