The killing of the bear on Burnaby Mountain is on all of us

Chris Campbell

In case you haven’t heard, the “aggressive” bear that took a swipe at some people trying to have a picnic on Burnaby Mountain was found Tuesday by Conservation Officers and shot dead.

And I blame you.

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I blame myself as well.

I blame all of us for A) encroaching on natural areas for recreation or building homes, and B) not doing enough when we’re close to bears to ensure they don’t become so cozy with us that they end up being “aggressive” and getting killed.

There are so many ways that humans can protect bears.

CO Kent Popjes laid out some of them in an interview on Tuesday.

“There’s no reason that there won’t be bears here. It’s just a matter that we do our part to keep them wild, which means we need to secure attractants, keep our garbage contained. And if you are hiking in the area, keep your food with you and do your best not to let a bear get a hold of it,” he said.

This also includes all of you owners of land with fruit trees on them. Pick up your fruit because it will attract bears.

This was the 19th bear put down this year in Popjes’s region, which includes Vancouver, Burnaby and the North Shore up to Pemberton. That’s about double the number of bears destroyed the year prior and more than normal, Popjes said.

“Any bear that’s put down, that’s too many for anybody. But obviously we do have a lot of challenges here with attractants and with the food conditioning that we do see with our bears, and we don’t have any options at some times with the level of public risk,” he said.

Nineteen bears losing their lives. It’s disgraceful. So smarten up and maybe a few more will actually survive this year.  

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

 

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