Bear put down after roaming Comox streets

A three-year-old male black bear was put down Wednesday after he made his way through the Comox Marina, near the library and downtown Comox and was “indifferent to humans.”

Conservation officer James Hilgemann said the bear had been spotted around town and was swimming in the Comox bay when someone on a sailboat saw the animal.

The bear then swam to shore near the Comox Library, he explained, and made its way to the dumpster near the DFO office on Port Augusta Street.

Hilgemann, along with assistance from the Comox Valley RCMP, spent two hours following the bear from downtown through a residential area, where it eventually went up a tree.

“He was really dialed into garbage,” he added. “He wasn’t aggressive, but was habituated to garbage. It’s way too high of risk for bear/human conflict. He had a learned behaviour.”

Hilgemann said the incident serves as a good reminder to keep garbage inside or well protected, keep fruit trees well maintained and to be a good neighbour.