There’s a happy ending to the tale of the little grizzly that came to visit the Silver City.
After almost two weeks of wandering in the Trail area, the young male was tranquilized on Ritchie Avenue in Tadanac late Monday afternoon.
Conservation officer Blair Thin confirmed he successfully darted the bear just after 3:30 p.m. with Greater Trail RCMP on hand to assist with tracking and crowd control.
Thin says the grizzly was approximately 200 lbs and healthy.
The bruin was transported back to the Castlegar conservation office in a trap, where he spent the night sleeping off the tranquilizer.
“He’ll be put back to sleep (Tuesday) morning,” Thin reported. “He’ll be fitted with a radio-collar so we can track his movements, we’ll take some DNA from him, and he’ll have some fancy new ear tags for tracking purposes.”
The young grizzly was relocated to an undisclosed location Tuesday morning.
Thin added, “Happy it turned out well.”
A grizzly in the valley is an unusual occurrence, so the conservation officer could only speculate on what pushed the silverback out of its natural high range and into a fringe area.
“I’ve been in the bush and it is dry,” he began. “But there is still a healthy crop of huckleberries up in the high elevations .. it could have been a cut block, logging or a big dominant bear that pushed it out of prime habitat. For whatever reason, he followed his nose down to the Columbia River and found a bounty of food sources.”
Thin reminds locals that hibernation is months away.
“Be diligent with garbage, fruit, barbecues and bird feeders,” he said. “Even just an apple core on a school ground can draw bears out, so be extra cognizant this time of year.”
Most wildlife will try to eat a lot of food over the course of summer to help them deal with winter, and bears too are voracious summertime eaters.
But in the fall they enter a gluttonous stage called hyperphagia where black bears will consume up to 14,000 calories a day, and grizzlies up to 20,000 calories daily – it is literally a case of fatten up or die.
While in hyperphagia, grizzly and black bears gorge and gain up to four pounds a day as they forage for anything and everything even remotely edible.
In this stage, bears would rather eat than sleep. For instance, a grizzly bear may invest 20 hours a day in building up fat reserves, sleeping only long enough to process the food.