Mama bear and four cubs euthanized in Houston

“We had no choice,” says conservation officer

  • Sep. 6, 2018 1:30 a.m.

Police search for a mamma bear and her four cubs at Jamie Baxter Park in Houston on Sept. 5. (Submitted photo)

The police search for a mama bear and her four cubs at Jamie Baxter Park in Houston yesterday did not end well for the bears.

According to Smithers Conservation Officer Flint Knibbs, all bears had to be euthanized.

READ MORE: Police search for mama bear and cubs in Houston

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service had been receiving reports of bears in and around Jamie Baxter Park for over a month.

“They had been aggressive with people on multiple occasions,” Knibbs told Houston Today. “We’ve had reports of children being chased, the bear charged RCMP on several occasions, and given the location being right beside the park and the trails that go up and down the hill there, we had no choice; for public safety reasons the bears needed to be destroyed.”

“It’s never good for us to have to put down so many bears, but when they’re charging people and chasing kids, the human safety aspect has to take precedence,” he added.

According to Knibbs, the bears had a big incentive to hang out in and around the park.

“I think what happened with Jamie Baxter is that whole hillside had a really good berry crop on it, and so with the campground being closed there, they had essentially just taken up residence – living on the campground and eating berries on the hillside for a month,” he explained.

“Buck Creek is essentially dry right now, so the salmon that usually go up Buck Creek are sitting down in the Upper Bulkley, right where Buck Creek comes in, and the bears have been down there eating fish carcasses as well.”

“So it was a whole bunch of factors – having a large food source, a mama bear that was being protective of her cubs, and people being where the bears are – it led to a worst case scenario for us.”

When asked if there is a connection between wildfires and bears in the community, Knibbs said he doesn’t believe that to be the case.

“We certainly heard that rumour as well, but this is that time of year when bears are trying to put on as much weight as they can,” he said. “Because bears are trying to put on weight right now in order to be fat enough to hibernate in the winter time, they’re eating everything in sight, and we’re continuing to get calls about bears being in the people’s garbage and people’s fruit trees around the Houston area.”

Knibbs requested that residents “clean up their yards,” making sure there are no attractants left.

“If people have a clean yard and there’s no food in it, there’s no reason for a bear to come and hang out there,” he said. “But when people have apple trees, which is a really common one for us, they are not picking up the apples and the bears get in there and start eating the apples.”

“It puts people in danger, bears in danger and it’s just not good all around,” he added. “If people can have their yards free of any sort of attractant, that definitely helps the situation.”


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Tlell Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday until Thanksgiving

The Observer mistook the final day for the farmers market – don’t miss the harvest!

Masset dodges empty-ballot bullet

After an extended deadline, Masset now has enough candidates for council

Sunny skies for Terry Fox Run

Queen Charlotte and Masset runs raise nearly $3,000 for cancer research

Masset short on council candidates, other communities okay

Nominations deadline for Masset council extended to 4 p.m. Monday

Canning sockeye by hand in North Coast B.C.

Arnie Nagy teaches the Northern View how to can salmon in Prince Rupert

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Dozens speak at Vancouver hearing that could see duplexes replace single homes

The city clerk says 73 people signed up to speak at the hearing that began early Tuesday evening and adjourned hours later with 34 speakers still waiting.

North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

North and South Korea say they plan to bid for 2032 Olympics

Moon and Kim announced a sweeping set of agreements including a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Russia’s reinstatement after doping scandal goes to a vote

The World Anti-Doping Agency is due to vote Thursday Sept. 20, 2018, on possible reinstatement of Russia.

Ontario wins stay on ruling that struck down council-cutting plan

The province had argued the stay was necessary to eliminate uncertainty surrounding the Oct. 22 vote, and the Court of Appeal agreed.

B.C. cannabis producer Tilray hits at $20-billion high as stock price explodes

This is the first export of a cannabis product from a Canadian company to the U.S.

NDP tax increases adding up for B.C. residents: study

Carole James says Fraser Institute analysis ignores tax relief

Most Read