RCMP officers remove the body of a bear they said they were forced to shoot last week in Port Hardy.                        Photo courtesy Nancy Wilson

RCMP officers remove the body of a bear they said they were forced to shoot last week in Port Hardy. Photo courtesy Nancy Wilson

Wandering bear shot dead

Port Hardy RCMP officers said they were forced to shoot and kill a bear that entered the town and posed an imminent risk

PORT HARDY—Port Hardy RCMP officers said they were forced to shoot and kill a bear that entered the town and posed an imminent risk to public safety.

The young black bear, which appeared to be a yearling,  was first reported as being under a trailer in Cedar Heights Trailer Park just before 7 a.m. Thursday Dec 29.

After leaving on its own shortly afterwards, the bear was observed again at 10:45 a.m. by Hwy. 19 near the four-way stop.

Police then chased the furry interloper into a nearby green space.

The bear was seen again shortly afterwards walking down the highway towards a populated area and was not disturbed by passing cars.

At this point, police shot the bear, which Port Hardy RCMP Staff Sgt. Anna Marie Mallard described as being “small and unhealthy.”

Tim Schumacher, the North Island’s lone B.C. Conservation officer, was advised of the action taken.

“They (the bears) have had a tough year without a summer,” said Schumacher.

He noted it was a poor berry year last year, and a shortage of wild foods will lead bears to forage around towns.

Larry Woodall, who works for the Ministry of Natural Resources and has extensive field experience with bears, pointed out bears are very complex individuals and a wide variety of different factors contribute to how any bear behaves.