Two Grizzly Bears Spotted on Pearse Island

Island hopping mainland Grizzly Bears becoming more common

A coastal Grizzly bear grazes in a meadow.

Some four-legged visitors could be making their way to the North Island.

Two grizzly bears have been “island hopping” from the mainland and were last sighted on Pearse Island, near Cormorant Island and Telegraph Cove, says North Island Conservation Officer Jon Paquin.

The COS has been monitoring these bears for the last few weeks.In order to avoid a tragic ending, Pacquin is asking people to keep well away from the Grizzlies and call in any sightings to the COS RAPP line as soon as possible to 1-877-952-7277 or online at www.rapp.bc.ca.

“The bears are believed to be dispersing sub-adults, and it is critical that the public leave them alone,” Paquin said.

People trying to get close, or closer, to the bears for photos or better viewing can contribute to habituation of the bears which may lead to their destruction.

The COS is hopeful that if the bears are left alone, they will return to a more remote area.

This is not the first time Grizzly bears have come over to Vancouver Island and may, in fact, be part of an increasing trend.

“Our bear monitoring research on the Central Coast has revealed that grizzlies are colonizing many inner islands which were never before occupied, and are doing so with increased frequency over the last decade. We do not know why, but it has coincided with salmon declines,” said Chris Darimont, science director for Raincoast Conservation and the Hakai-Raincoast professor at the University of Victoria.

“We do not expect colonization on Vancouver Island, because human density is too high, especially along the eastern edge of the island where bears arrive and most humans live. People tend to panic and the poor bears do not last very long before they are killed,” said Darimont.

“We have had documented sightings in the past,” Paquin said.In fact, last summer a Grizzly made its way to the Woss area where it was destroyed by COS.

In June of 2013, an adult male grizzly bear broke into a Marine Harvest hatchery in Beaver Cove, at Telegraph Cove, and killed a Rottweiler at the site.At that time, Steve Petrovcic, a North Island Zone conservation officer based in Black Creek, told the Gazette the Grizzly was trapped and destroyed after it was determined it was not a candidate for relocation, because it had exhibited desensitized behaviour.

The first grizzly/human conflict on Vancouver Island the COS is aware of, said Petrovcic, was over 20 years ago, when one tried to get into a barn where there were a number of calves and was destroyed by the farmer.

In 2005, a grizzly in a First Nations community was destroyed after it showed desensitized behaviour. In 2006, in mid-May, another sub-adult male grizzly was climbing over a fence into a residential back yard in Sayward where grandchildren were playing.

An individual grabbed a firearm and shot the animal.

In addition to black bears, Vancouver Island had pre-historic Short-faced bears during the Ice Age. These massive creatures were larger than Grizzlies, and became extinct about 11,000 years ago. The largest Short-faced bear on record weighed about 2,500 pounds (1,134 kilograms).There are remains of these animals in Pellucidar Cave on the North Island.

“I was part of a team that conducted some preliminary investigations at Pellucidar Cave in the Nimpkish area in 2008,” said Daryl Fedje, assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of Victoria.

“We recovered Brown bear, Black bear, Short-face bear, Mountain Goat, etc. dating about 13 to 15,000 years ago.”The project lead was Martina Steffen of Victoria B.C. Prior to UVic Fedje had a 30-year career as an archaeologist working for Parks Canada in western Canada, primarily the National Parks on B.C.’s west coast.

Just Posted

VIDEO: NIC officially opens new Thunderbird Mall Campus

“The community is really eager to see our new space.”

Survey says: Port Hardy Fire Rescue deserves on-call pay

75 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of financial compensation for the fire department.

VIDEO: Incredible waves spotted at Cape Scott

Lighthouse keeper captures video of huricane force winds

Tyson’s Thoughts: Make Port Hardy great again with a new multiplex in 2018

Population growth means there should be more recreational activities for community members to enjoy.

VIDEO: Stormy weather at Storey’s Beach

Envirnoment Canada has issued a wind warning for Coastal British Columbia

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Most Read