People don’t like it when bears are put down.
There always has to be another alternative, most of us seem to reason. Conservation officers, on the other hand, insist circumstances often dictate there’s no other choice for public safety.
Another incident in the Waynes Road area of Chemainus just before New Year’s brought the situation to light again.
A momma bear and two cubs had been spotted in the region, mostly staying high in a tall tree.
It’s not known exactly how long they had been there. Conservation officers were not called in the early days they were spotted.
When conservation officers were called and finally attended, they felt the bears would eventually wander away and should just be left alone.
But they didn’t leave, having accessed a regular garbage source for food. And therein lies the problem.
Conservation officers maintain once bears frequent the same area over a long period of time, they become reliant on humans. If we leave them alone, lock up our garbage and they remain hungry rather than well-fed, it apparently stands to reason they will simply go and hibernate at this time of the year due to a lack of food.
Putting bears down still doesn’t sit well for many as a reasonable alternative to relocation. But conservation insists that solution does not provide the positive results in most cases that you would think.
It’s a battle that will be continually waged about what to do with the animals. Remember the case of Bryce Casavant, a conservation officer who refused to kill a couple of bear cubs in 2015? He obviously did not believe in the practice that’s in place.
No matter what side of the fence you’re on, we have to comply with directives as they exist now for the sake of the bears.