An adult black bear that was spotted eating people’s garbage in Langford was euthanized by conservation officers.
BC Conservation Officers attended the Millstream Road area in Langford at around noon on Monday, June 1 after the same bear was spotted eating trash in the area multiple times over the past few days.
“People need to recognize that when bears come in our neighbourhoods and access our garbage that we’re not locking up, this is unfortunately the result,” said conservation officer Scott Norris in a phone interview with Victoria Buzz.
“It’s the worst part of the job for a conservation officer, having to euthanize a bear or any wildlife, and it’s because of humans failing to follow the law.”
Residents in B.C. are required by law to lock up their garbage in an enclosure or a garbage container that has locking lids where trash cannot be accessed by wildlife.
Failure to lock up one’s garbage can lead to a $230 fine.
In this situation, says Norris, human carelessness caused the healthy adult bear to lose its fear of humans so much so that it began roaming residential neighbourhoods looking for garbage.
“We can’t relocate a bear like that because they’ve learned where the rewards are.”
Norris says this has been an unusually busy year for bear sightings as the BC Conservation Service receives an average of 10 bear-related calls per day.
For example, a bear spotted in View Royal on Monday generated several such calls. There have also been multiple bear sightings in Saanich over the past month, including one just this morning on Carey Road.
While Norris does want people to continue reporting bear sightings, he also encourages members of the public to report cases where people have not effectively locked up their garbage.
B.C. residents can report all wildlife-human interactions that put the public and animals at risk by calling 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.
More information about safety measures can be found on the WildSafeBC website.