It was a busy Canada Day long weekend for the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) in North Vancouver.
Two large, aggressive black bears were shot and killed over two days, according to the service.
The first one happened on June 29, and involved a male black bear that approached four groups of people within 30 minutes at the popular Rice Lake.
Conservation Officer Lonnie Schoenthal told Global News no matter how many times he tried to scare it away from people, the bear was not afraid.
“He was very habituated, very comfortable around people, had somehow learned at some point in its life that it’s okay to approach people,” said Schenthal.
Eventually, the bear charged at Schoenthal, forcing him to shoot the bear, he said.
“It was quite surprising,” said Scheonthal. “I was quite alarmed by the entire situation and it was unfortunate the way that it unfolded.”
The second bear broke into a home along Phyllis Road in the Lynn Creek area the next day.
Schoenthal said no one was inside the home, but a large group of people were in the front yard.
“The rear door was open with just the screen door closed,” he said.
“The bear approached the screen, saw some croissants in the kitchen, and decided to push through the screen.”
He said the bear wandered off after he got his croissants, but didn’t leave the neighbourhood.
“Over the next three hours, I received a couple more calls about the bear in the area, trying to access attractants,” said Schoenthal.
“Then a third call, the bear was trying to enter another home through the rear sliding doors again.”
Officers set a trap, and Schoenthal said the bear was killed.
Schoenthal said both bears were unafraid of people, leading him to believe they had been fed by humans before.
“If you are heading anywhere in bear habitat or anywhere where there is bear wildlife, just don’t feed the wildlife. It may seem like they need some assistance but they’re definitely fine alone,” he said.
“By feeding the wildlife, all it does habituate them and make them comfortable around people, which only puts both you and the bear at harm’s risk.”
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