“Quiet Year” for Bear Sightings
Prince George, B.C. – Bear sightings are way down this year in the Prince George region.
“It’s been very quiet this year,” said Sgt. Rory Smith with the Conservation Service. “We attribute a lot of that to the weather we’ve had and a very prolific berry crop. And quite frankly, human/wildlife conflict is way down, it’s been a really good year from that perspective.”
With the exception of course of the man (Daniel Ward Folland O’Connor) killed by a black bear in Mackenzie last May.
“Yeah, I mean that’s obviously an exceptional event, I mean we haven’t had an event like that here in some time,” he said. “But for the most part, the most bear issues we have are usually damage to property, or destruction of property, or interaction with livestock or pets.”
Though he didn’t have exact numbers by press time, Smith noted there have been “just a handful” of bears put down this year.
“Last year was one of the worst years we’ve had in years (when over 40 were put down) and this year is the exact opposite.”
But with the change of seasons, he expects things to change soon.
“Things are going to change as we move into fall and a lot of the natural food sources start to be depleted or non-existent,” said Smith.
“Bears will forage everywhere and anywhere to gain access to food and calories to put on body fat to hibernate for the winter so people need to eliminate those food and attractants around their homes to prevent conflict with wildlife.”