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Conservation officers in Kelowna destroy six bears, blame human behaviour

Last Updated Oct 16, 2019 at 9:46 pm PDT

(Source: The Canadian Press)

The six bears had to be killed by conservation officers after they became habituated

Bears were reportedly charging people and attempting to break into homes in the area

Conservation officers are reminding people to keep trash away from the animals to prevent these cases

KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) – Conservation Officers in the Okanagan are frustrated and heart-broken after having to put down six bears over this past weekend, due to the careless disposal of trash.

It happened around the Lake Okanagan Resort in Kelowna.

Officer Jeff Hanratty says the bears weren’t afraid of humans.

One person claimed a bear had twice charged them while others reported the bears attempting to get into homes.

“They were primarily attracted to a dumpster and a garbage compactor,” Hanratty says. “The company has been charged and in this event has been issued two separate dangerous wildlife protection orders.”

He says the bears were a huge public safety concern and were not suitable candidates to be re-located.

“One person was charged twice by the bears. Another person reports a bear was up on a balcony going through recycling. There’s also another report of a bear that was pushing on the windows.”

He says putting down the animals is not an easy choice, adding more needs to be done to keep bears from becoming habituated.

“We need to start taking better care of our attractants. Not training these bears, habituating them and helping them get over their fears,” he says. “Then people call conservation officers when the bears become a public safety risk.”

But Hanratty adds, there have already been some good efforts made towards compliance by the company, and he’s hopeful this won’t be a problem in the future.

Three bears were put down on Sunday. One more was killed on Monday, and two on Tuesday.