Bear shooting causes community uproar

A local conservation officer put down a black bear that had penetrated a residential neighbourhood in Courtenay on Saturday and almost immediately, the vitriol was being spewed on social media regarding the officer in charge.

We accept part of the blame, as there was information missing from the article; mainly why the bear was put down.

In our defence, at the time the Comox Valley Record went to print, our reporter was still trying to contact the officer in charge.

The bureaucracy involved in speaking to conservation officers is vastly more complicated than simply picking up a phone and calling them directly. All media requests must go through Victoria and such a request will not be addressed on a Saturday evening.

That said, residents can rest assured that the officer in charge took no pleasure in destroying a bear.

How do we know? Because of his title.

He is a conservation officer. His duty is to conserve.

We have had reports from witnesses who say this bear had been in and around neighbourhoods throughout the city for at least a month. It had become an urban bear.

Whether or not relocation had been done previously on this bear we still don’t know. What we do know is once a bear becomes urbanized, regardless of where it is relocated, it will seek another urban area.

It has discovered that hunting for food in a city is much easier than doing so in the wild.

And this is when conservation officers are forced with a task they do not enjoy – the killing of wildlife.

There are many reasons for doing so, but the most important issue is the safety of residents.

The bear knows no boundaries. That swing set next to the apple tree means nothing to him. That youngster swinging on the swing set probably means nothing to him either, but should that chance be taken?

We are not claiming that anyone’s life was in immediate danger from the presence of this bear on Saturday afternoon.

But one thing we do know: the letters and comments that will ensue due to this incident are far easier to endure than having to write, or read about, a tragic incident involving a bear attacking a human.

 

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

Just Posted

Valley-filmed mini-series honoured with Canadian Screen Award nomination

Actor Shawn Doyle was nominated in the Best Lead Actor category for Unspeakable

Earthquake drill offers safety lesson for Comox Valley Schools

Exercise at Glacier View includes smoke and pyrotechnics to add element of realism

Updated: Sightseeing airplane crashes in Saanich farm

Two sent to hospital with minor injuries after Cessna 172 crash at 8:55 a.m.

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Public meeting in Courtenay to discuss state of residential care in B.C.

Long term residential care for seniors is an issue that is top… Continue reading

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Most Read