A longtime resident of Thetis Island said he’s never seen a bear on the island. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dead black bear washes up on Thetis Island

Conservation officer determines it had been in the ocean for a long time

A dead black bear has mysteriously turned up on Thetis Island.

Chris, a longtime resident who asked that his last name not be used, was mystified by the find Monday morning in Preedy Harbour.

“We don’t have any bears on Thetis Island to our knowledge,” he said. “No bears here, cougars sometimes. It’s actually quite high on the beach.”

A colleague contacted the BC Conservation Officer Service. The immediate concern was whether the bear had been killed by a hunter or died of natural causes.

Andrew Riddell of the BC Conservation Officer Service confirmed the latter after reviewing a photo and videos of the bear taken by Chris.

“It looks like that bear’s been in the ocean for a long time, based on how the hide’s been washed off,” said Riddell.

“Currents could have brought it from anywhere for it to wash up on Thetis Island.”

He determined it’s a big male and not a cub, and “anything could have killed it.”

Some of the decomposition seen could have resulted from predators in the ocean and the weather.

The bear remains on the beach and Riddell said no investigation will be necessary to determine how it died. Being on an island presents some challenges for disposal, but somebody will have to be found on Thetis for that task, he added, and information has been passed along to the Duncan Conservation office.

The beached carcass has a nasty odour and Chris reported birds were on it.

Riddell said one other call to the Report All Poachers and Polluters tip line about the bear indicated its paws had been removed, which would have constituted an offense and required an investigation, but the photo and videos refuted that claim.

bearsWildlife

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

Just Posted

Red Dress campaign returns to the Comox Valley

This project was inspired by The REDress Project, which was started by Metis artist Jamie Black

With video: 19 Wing Comox home to new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft

The CC-295 Kingfisher was officially unveiled Friday

Vancouver Island couple’s sheep farm dream disrupted by high lumber price

The solar powered farm project in Sayward will be set back by three years if the lumber price continues to remain high

Valley RCMP still looking for missing man six months after disappearance

John Wesley Edwards (“Wes”) who was last seen in Courtenay on March 20.

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

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

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read