A sow and her three cubs, reported on social media for several weeks to be living in Princeton, were destroyed by a Conservation Officer Saturday (File photo WildsafeBC - Facebook)

A sow and her three cubs, reported on social media for several weeks to be living in Princeton, were destroyed by a Conservation Officer Saturday (File photo WildsafeBC - Facebook)

OPINION: Conservation officers don’t kill bears – we do

A mother and three cubs were destroyed recently in a Princeton residential neighbourhood.

Four bears – a mother and three cubs – were destroyed last Saturday morning following a frightening incident in a Princeton residential neighbourhood.

A conservation officer, who had set a trap for a bear that was reported after it tried to break into a shed, was surprised to realize an entire family was involved.

At least one cub entered the trap, putting the CO between the captured cub and the sow, and shots were fired.

All four bears were put down.

READ MORE: Mother bear and three cubs put down by conservation officer in Princeton

That’s got to be a wrenching experience for someone who is trained and educated to protect wildlife, as well as enforce the law.

Considerable outrage erupted on social media after a story about the incident appeared online.

That conservation officer did not kill those bears. We did.

The bears died because they had become habituated to non-natural food sources. That is simply down to the people who leave out their garbage, don’t tidy up after their fruit trees, and place attractants like bird seed in their backyards.

It would be lovely in a storybook-sort-of-way to think that bears who are urbanized can be happily relocated to a green, leafy place in the forest.

Only that doesn’t work.

Bears dependent on human food fail in the wilderness. Even if they are dropped hundreds of miles away, they will return to their urban territory.

The idea persists that bears don’t hurt anyone. That’s probably because they are fuzzy and adorable looking.

The facts are that at least 17 people have been killed by bears in the province in the last 24 years and more than 200 were injured. Bears are wild animals. They need, and deserve, to live in the wild.

Yeah, yeah, they were here first. But we are here now and we don’t want to move.

Therefore social distancing is required.

Again, a CO didn’t kill that family of bears on the weekend. We did.

Let’s try to do better with our own behaviour, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

RELATED: Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

— Black Press

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

Just Posted

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Mayor Colin Basran at the announcement of the 2021 Tim Horton’s Brier to be hosted in Kelowna on Nov. 21. (Contributed)
Tim Hortons Brier not coming to Kelowna

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Curling Canada to move to hub model, similar to the NHL playoffs

Charitables is partnering with Mamas for Mamas and the Central Okanagan Food Drive for a holiday gift drive. (Charitables)
Shop local, support the vulnerable: Kelowna marketplace partners with charities for holiday gift drive

Charitables is partnering with Mamas for Mamas and the Central Okanagan Food Bank

Renee Merrifield speaking to media on her front doorstep after being declared the winner of the Kelowna-Mission riding for the BC Liberal Party on Oct. 24, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Central Okanagan MLA’s take on new roles

Renee Merrifield will be taking over for Norm Letnick as the BC Liberal Caucus’ health critic

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Brent Ross poses with his dog Jack who died over the weekend after asphyxiating on a ball. Ross hopes his experience serves as a cautionary tale to other dog owners. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm man warns others after dog dies from choking on a ball

Brent Ross grieving the sudden loss of Jack, a healthy, seven-year-old chocolate lab

This year’s Candlelight Vigil, United Against Violence Against Women, on Dec. 6, 2020 will not be in person at the campuses of Okanagan College due to COVID-19, but people will be able to gather online to watch a video presentation and light a candle in remembrance. (Image contributed)
Violence against women in North Okanagan-Shuswap to be remembered online

Participants in virtual vigil Dec. 6 asked to light a candle and post photo on social media

An Enderby restaurant and pub has been shut down since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2020 as a precaution after a guest reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. (Howard Johnson photo)
Enderby pub shuts down after guest reportedly tests positive for COVID-19

The Howard Johnson hotel, restaurant and pub has been closed since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29

Robert Gibson, born November 24, 2020 is in BC Children’s Hospital. Photo contributed
Princeton baby fights for his life, with parents at his side

A Go Fund Me campaign has been started to help family with expenses

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grapevine Optical was the victim of an early morning break and enter Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Crime Stoppers Okanagan / Facebook)
Collection of designer sunglasses stolen from South Okanagan eye-wear shop

Crime Stoppers is seeking the identity of two male suspects

Most Read