BEAVER COVE-An adult male grizzly bear was destroyed by the Conservation Officer Service Monday morning after breaking into a Marine Harvest hatchery in Beaver Cove and killing a rottweiler dog one day earlier.
“These were very unfortunate circumstances,” said Steve Petrovcic, a North Island Zone conservation officer based in Black Creek. “No Conservation Officer likes to destroy such a beautiful, majestic animal, but when its behaviour is such that it’s habituated it’s likely to get into additional conflict with humans.”
The CO service was notified about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, June 2, after an employee at Marine Harvest’s Tsulton Hatchery arrived to check on the property and the status of the rottweiler, whose owner was away.
The employee discovered the dog’s empty collar attached to its line on a dog run and found a panel of fencing knocked out.
“He proceeded out of the dog run compound, walked southwest toward a pond, and at that point identified what he believed was a grizzly bear,” Petrovcic said.
Petrovcic and another CO immediately geared up and drove to the Beaver Cove site, where they found blood, bear pawprints and drag marks, along with a fragment of what may have been dog bone.
Later Sunday, the officers set two culvert traps and a cable leg snare in the general vicinity, baited with beaver meat.
Upon returning to the site early Monday morming, Petrovcic said. the COs found the bruin in the cable trap.
“We consulted with a senior ministry (of Environment) vet and determined this animal was not a candidate for relocation,” he said. “It had clearly exhibited desensitized behaviour toward human structures. There was actually evidence of the bear being up on the rear deck of residence, and it killed a dog and caused other property damage.”
The officers put down the bear and took the carcass immediately to Nanaimo for a necropsy at the Ministry of Environment offices.
Petrovcic said anybody involved in a wild animal conflict should call the CO’s reporting hotline at 1-877-952-7277.