A large black bear is believed to be responsible for killing several sheep in Metchosin. One of Bev Bacon’s lambs were killed over the B.C. Day long weekend. The bear was caught on a wildlife camera returning to the carcass. (Gary Schroyen photo)

A large black bear is believed to be responsible for killing several sheep in Metchosin. One of Bev Bacon’s lambs were killed over the B.C. Day long weekend. The bear was caught on a wildlife camera returning to the carcass. (Gary Schroyen photo)

Metchosin mayor upset with B.C. Conservation’s response to sheep killings

One bear believed to be behind recent killings

Bev Bacon’s B.C. Day long weekend was off to a fine start until she found out one of her sheep had been killed by a bear in a pasture near her Metchosin property.

She arrived to find the lamb with fatal bite marks and immediately called the B.C. Conservation Officer Service in hopes of having them track the bear down with dogs or set up a bear trap – but to no avail.

“We missed a perfect opportunity to get this bear because of the holiday weekend,” said Bacon in an email sent to conservation officers.

“The problem as I see it with our present system is that your department is understaffed and spread too thinly. It is perfectly reasonable that your priority has to be where carnivores are a threat to people.”

But with livestock left to protect, Bacon proposed a collective of sheep farmers buy their own live trap and store it at the municipal yard or a local farm.

With small profit margins already, the cost of losing sheep or setting up deterrents such as electric fencing aren’t feasible for Bacon or others.

READ MORE: Metchosin farmers lose sheep to bear attacks

It’s a problem that’s left Metchosin Mayor John Ranns frustrated. He sent a letter to B.C. Conservation in mid-July and has spoken with the department, trying to address the way officers have been dealing with the growing bear population.

“I was given reassurance that if there was a kill, an officer would be alerted in time to have dogs sent out and track down the bear,” he said.

But several kills later, including three losses at Parry Bay Sheep Farm, one at Stillmeadow Farm in late July and Bacon’s latest loss, Ranns had yet to hear of officers dispatched with dogs.

Bacon and Ranns believe it is one bear wreaking havoc on local flocks. “This bear has already proved that it’s not scared of people, which makes this a public threat,” Ranns said. “This bear should’ve been taken care of weeks ago.”

B.C. Conservation did not respond to requests for comment by the Gazette’s press deadline.

ALSO READ: Bear attacks Rottweiler near Matheson Lake in Metchosin


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@ goldstreamgazette.com

bearsDistrict of Metchosin

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Current unmarked residential streets are 50 km/h, but Greater Vancouver municipalities might consider dropping that to 30 km/h. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay, Esquimalt and Sidney join Saanich in application to reduce residential road speeds to 30 km/h

Victoria also taking part in pilot to change default speed to 30 km/h from 50 km/h

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School April 14 to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
SD61’s proposed $7 million cuts threaten equity and inclusion, say parents, teachers

Music classes, inclusion services, reading programs on the line

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth gets combative with police at Victoria hospital

VicPD officer injured, youth kept in care under Mental Health Act

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

Most Read