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October 27, 2017 4:10 pm

Black Bear Conflict Calls Double

Saturday, August 5, 2017 @ 6:47 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The number of human-wildlife conflicts are way up this year.

Especially when it comes to black bears. That from the Conservation Officer Service.

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“Since April 1 we have received 8,900 black bear conflict reports compared to over 4,900 last year,” says deputy chief Chris Doyle. “The biggest increase in call volumes have occurred in the Skeena, South Coast, Vancouver Island and West Kootenay areas.”

He adds it’s frustrating that many of those conflicts have been “preventable.”

“So, the COS would like to remind the public to secure attractants, such as garbage and fruit which may attract bears. Also, it’s an offence under the BC Wildlife Act to feed or attract dangerous wildlife and this applies to residences, campsites and businesses.”

Doyle says conflicts may have also increased due to a decline in natural food sources.

“It’s likely that some of the natural food was delayed in ripening. That could still be occurring now in some areas. That brought some of those bears into conflict. There’s other factors too such as the dynamics of the local bear population in certain areas.”


As reported, conflict levels can vary regionally within the province. There are several variables which make an accurate prediction difficult but the constant has always been unsecured residential attractants. Last year, here in Prince George, the spring and summer months could best be described as a little below average concerning the level of complaints. The information which we were able to collect for the year 2016 suggests that approximately 900 calls involving bear activity occurred in Prince George. Further data suggests that nearly half of these complaints fell within a 6 week period between August and September. In appears this same event is unfolding again this year. The best explanation we can provide would be that once the natural food supply diminishes bears turn their focus once again to the easily obtained food sources in residential neighbourhoods. Taking action to remove or secure attractants after bears have gained access is already too late. Last year over 40 bears were killed because of conflict, bringing the 5 year total, 2012-2016, to just over 160 bears. We ask for your help.

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