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Conservation Officer Fingers North Vancouver Homeowners For Bear Killings

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Conservation officer fingers North Vancouver homeowners for bear killings:

NORTH VANCOUVER -- A provincial conservation officer is voicing frustration with North Vancouverites after two bears had to be killed here in the space of a week because residents had failed to heed warnings about garbage.

Dave Cox, a member of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, said Wednesday that while his agency was responsible for putting the animals down, it was really the local homeowners who hadn’t locked up bear attractants who were to blame for the deaths.

“We’re getting very disappointed with the residents of North Vancouver,” he said. “People need to take responsibility for protecting their wildlife.”

Conservation officers were called to a neighbourhood near Edgemont Boulevard and Capilano Road May 2 after receiving multiple reports of an injured bear rifling through garbage. When it became clear the five- to seven-year old animal had become accustomed to the food source and could not be frightened off, the officers euthanized it.

Just six days later, they were forced to kill another bear near Mount Seymour Parkway that had become similarly acclimatized. The service had already tried relocating the second, younger animal last year, but it had returned, apparently with less fear of humans — going so far as to snuffle at the windows of homes.

“When it reaches that conflict level, unfortunately now we have to step in,” said Cox.

The service, together with the North Shore Black Bear Society and the local municipalities, has been campaigning for years to get homeowners to keep their garbage locked up until just before pickup. They have also been hounding residents to pick up fallen fruit, to take down bird feeders and to remove other potential food sources in an effort to curb encounters. But for many, said Cox, the message just doesn’t seem to be getting through.

“Year after year we’re coming into these neighbourhoods, and people are making excuses,” he said. “We’ve gone out and said: ‘This is how you can do it.’ It’s past that now; people know what they’re supposed to do.”

In November, the province amended the Wildlife Act to make it easier for conservation officers to fine people for being careless with attractants. So far, the service hasn’t handed out any of the $230 tickets on the North Shore, but if things don’t improve, that will change, said Cox.

For more information on bear-proofing garbage and dealing with other attractants, visit northshorebears.com.


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I would have a tough time not showing my frustration too. The residents caused the death of the bears by attracting them with garbage. You would think they will understand how important it is after warnings and from causing another bear's death earlier. I guess not.

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