Two brown bears had to be destroyed by the Conservation Service this past weekend, taking the tally of bears killed in North Shore so far this year to seven.
On Saturday, June 29, a bear was killed in the Rice Lake area, said Christine Miller, the executive director of the North Shore Black Bear Society.
She said the bear had learned to scout out unattended backpacks and was not scared off by Conservation Officers. The bear was spotted by several cyclists and was photographed over the past few months grazing on the side of the Seymour Valley Trailway.
On Sunday, June 30, another bear followed his nose from his natural habitat in Lynn Canyon to a residential area to access garbage that was stored outside. In his search for easily accessible foods, he entered a kitchen and ate croissants that were on the counter. A trap was set and he was killed.
Seven bears have been killed so far on the North Shore this year. In April, a bear was killed in Lynn Valley while another bear had to be destroyed in the British Properties. In May, a bear was killed near Park Royal Shopping Centre. On June 16, a bear was trapped near Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver and killed by Conservation officers.
Many of these deaths were preventable as bears follow their noses into residential areas and return to where they find rewards, noted Christine Miller, the executive director of the society.
“In addition to keeping household waste inaccessible, we recommend that bird feeders are removed during bear season unless the resident is an avid birder and is present to monitor the feeder and watch the birds and barbecues are cleaned and the grease traps emptied & cleaned after each use,” she said.
No fridges or freezers should be kept outside. When people know there is a bear around, ground floor windows and doors should be kept closed so wildlife doesn’t follow their noses into the home, Miller said.
In 2018, two bears were killed in the North Shore, one in the District of North Vancouver and another in the District of West Vancouver. In 2016, as many as 18 bears were killed in the North Shore, 10 in West Vancouver and eight in North Vancouver.