Conservation puts down black bear after it killed llama, alpaca in Errington

Conservation puts down black bear after it killed llama, alpaca in Errington
A black bear is seen near Lake Louise, Alberta, June, 2020.

B.C. Conservation officers had to put down a black bear in Errington after it killed a llama and alpaca in two separate incidents.

In a statement to CHEK News, the Conservation Officer Service says the bear has a history of “conflict behaviour” including eating non-natural food sources at farms.

The most recent incidents with the bear included killing one llama and one alpaca at two separate incidents in late March on nearby properties in Errington.

After conservation officers determined the same bear was responsible for the incidents, traps were set at both locations. Subsequently, an adult bear matching the description was safely captured and put down.

“Conservation Officers consider relocation if circumstances allow. But bears that are conditioned to non-natural food sources and show a minimal fear of people are not candidates for rehabilitation or relocation, as the risk to public safety is too great,” the conservation officers said in a statement.

“The Conservation Officer Service recognizes bear activity can cause concern to area residents and co-existence with wildlife can be challenging for rural communities.”

Conservation officers recommend rural properties take steps to protect livestock and wildlife including locking up livestock in a barn overnight and installing electric fencing, securing outdoor freezers and livestock feed to prevent bears from accessing it, and ensuring attractants are securely stored.

“Bear sightings are not unusual in rural areas, particularly those bordered by forests,” the statement says.

“The COS is continuing to monitor bear activity in the area and will respond as necessary to ensure public safety.”

Anyone who experiences a bear conflict or aggressive bear behaviour is encouraged to report it to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

If someone encounters a bear, it is recommended to not feed them, remain calm and do not run or climb a tree, keep away from the bear, stay with your group, go indoors, and to watch the bear until it leaves.

RELATED: Bear sightings in Duncan prompt warning, educational efforts from conservation officers

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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