Several attacks on livestock near Qualicum prompt call for better husbandry


Ram killed by bear in pen, pigs attacked in electrified enclosure just some recent attacks.

“The bear was sitting there for a while and then jumped into the pen and got a hold of the ram and killed it.” 
This is how neighbour Istvan Balazs described what happened at a nearby farm in the Dashwood area over the weekend.
A large bear had attacked and killed a ram named Matrix. 
“That does concern me because I have three children and my wife and it is a real concern.” he added.
It was one of several attacks on livestock in the general area over the week or two and now conservation officers have set several traps where the attacks happened in order to catch the bear or bears responsible.   
“They are creatures of opportunity” said BC Conservation officer Steve Ackles. “If they are in a bush and the livestock has the ability to get near the bear you know the bear is going to take the path of least resistance and that’s a food of opportunity.”
The attack on the ram however appears to be less opportunistic and more a case of stalking according to neighbours. 
The livestock attacks are traumatic for the owners and the owner of the ram told CHEK News the bear, when it returned to the kill later on showed absolutely no fear of her and that it was well-fed. She said it looked to be about 300 pounds and in very good condition. 
Conservation officers say bears in this area is not unusual but that they are becoming habituated to people and easy sources of food.
“There is no such thing as a problem bear” said Ackles.”People create that animal into where it is doing damage to people’s property and can become a danger to people.”
Ackles said the farm where the ram was killed is practicing good husbandry but that other farms in the area are not and they are at least partly responsible for attracting problem animals.
He says good husbandry includes installing electric fences around pens and putting your animals in a barn at night. 
“Yes, we’ve been doing quite a bit of patrols and education in these areas trying to get people to be doing the right thing and we have identified a couple of properties that need some better husbandry.” he said. 
 If your livestock is the victim of a bear attack you’re asked to call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277 and conservation officers will respond. 

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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