Grizzly bears near live traps on Cormorant Island

People are advised to keep away to ensure best possible outcome

Two male grizzly bears have developed a taste for Cormorant Island plums and berries, says Village of Alert Bay Chief Administrative Officer Justin Beadle.

As of this morning (Sept. 21), the bears were feeding in a backyard very close to two live traps that have been set up to capture them at the Alert Bay Campgrounds, Beadle said.

It appears the bears were curious about the traps and managed to close the doors last night. The doors were reopened this morning.

Trailheads have been closed-off with police tape and warning signs, the elementary schools are keeping students inside at recess and lunch, and parents have been cautioned to not let children walk to school alone, said Beadle.

Residents and visitors have been advised to stay off the trails and beaches until the bears have left Cormorant Island.

“The pubic has been notified to refrain from seeking out the bears or engaging with them in any way. The goal is to see the bears relocated somewhere safe, and interaction with humans increases the probability of bear aggression and a negative outcome to the situation,” said Beadle.

“We’re ensuring public safety and supporting the Conservation Officer Service in any way that we can,” said Alert May RCMP Sgt. Brett Sinden.

“We’ve done some joint education in the schools with the children about bear safety,” Sinden said.The initial sighting of the bears, who have island hopped over from the mainland, was at Sandyville on the southeast end of Cormorant Island at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Sept.16.”

The Village of Alert Bay is sharing information from BC Conservation as it becomes available,” said Beadle.