UPDATE: Conservation officer felt black bear posed too great a risk

Officer decided to put down the increasingly-agitated bear found wandering around the Campbell River marina.

The conservation officer involved the shooting of a black bear at Campbell River’s Discovery Harbour Marina on Friday felt the gathering crowds and the stress put on the bear created too great a risk to the public.

“It is important to stay well back from wildlife,” Sgt. Mike Newton said in a statement to the Mirror. “Although human nature is to get a closer look and photograph wildlife, doing so can often add to the animal’s stress level. It is possible that in this case, with the large crowds forming and watching, the bear may have felt forced to leave the breakwater in search of an escape route.”

The “medium-sized” black bear was first spotted on the marina breakwater Friday morning, looking tired, leading to speculation that it might have been swimming in Discovery Passage, perhaps even trying to cross to Quadra Island. Either that, or it came out of the Campbell River estuary, which is just north of the marina, marina harbourmaster Brad Drake said.

“Possibly why he was resting under the sign. He looked pretty tired under there. I can only assume…unless he came from the estuary way,” Drake said.

Sgt. Newton evaluated the situation and, based on the bear’s behavior and its location, he decided it would be best to keep the public well away and leave the bear on the breakwater to recover. Then as darkness fell, the bear could leave and access a nearby green space.

But sometime later, the bear got up and swam to the dock at the Discovery Harbour Marina. The bear began running up and down the quays and became increasingly agitated, Newton said.

“The bear was exhibiting extremely nervous behavior,” he said. “At this point, the bear entered an occupied business located on the dock, whose patrons were aware of the situation and had been watching the events unfold.”

The business was Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventure Tours and a security video showed the bear coming right into the company’s storefront on the marina for a brief moment.

Newton was able to coax the bear from the building and attempted to herd it toward a less populated area, away from the large crowd which had continued to gather.

“Yeah, there’s lots of people coming to look at it and stuff at the end of the dock there,” Drake said. “Lots of boats around.”

The bear was getting increasingly annoyed with Sgt. Newton following him, and became very aggressive to the Conservation Officer. In the interest of public safety, Sgt. Newton elected to put the bear down.

“The public is reminded that wildlife can be unpredictable and that such situations are high risk to the public,” Newton said.

Newton commended the Discovery Marina staff who he said were an excellent help in keeping the crowds back and helping to educate people on the dangers of human-wildlife interactions.

 

A black bear took refuge at the Discovery Harbour Marina this morning. It was put down by a conservation officer. Photo by Brad Drake

Just Posted

Talk of legalizing secondary suites stokes debate in Oak Bay

Motion to move ahead on secondary suites hits council next week

Nitwits, Touts and Oak Bay Council

Oak Bay Heritage hosts lecture on Memoirs of George Murdoch

Tsunami 101 on course for UVic

Oak Bay, Saanich, university partner to present info session Feb. 28

Oak Bay Heritage Day honours cultural history

Crowds turn out to explore gems from Oak Bay Archives

Oak Bay Heritage Day honours cultural history

Crowds turn out to explore gems from Oak Bay Archives

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

BC BUDGET: Tobacco tax hike may light up black market in smokes

NDP government adds another 56 cents per pack as of April 1

4 treatment centres to open in memory of B.C. teen who died of an overdose

A treatment centre for addictions is opening in Penticton after the first one fell through

Snow in the forecast for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is calling for up to four centimetres of snow to fall Wednesday

BCHL Today: Merritt peaking at right time and Taylor signs with UNH Wildcats

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

VIJHL playoffs: Cougars look to pounce on Coutre and the Wolves

Hockey series a rematch from last season’s opening round

Braves shutout Islanders to take Game 1 of playoffs

Braves return to Pearkes Friday night for Game 3

Video: B.C. firefighters featured in quirky video

Oliver Fire Department posts video about their B.C. volunteer firefighter spring training seminar

Most Read