Bears shot in Trail

Historically with black bears, conservation doesn't have the time or resources available to relocate the bruins.

A mother bear and her cub were shot in Sunningdale Wednesday morning.

RCMP Sgt. Darren Oelke confirmed an officer and his police dog attended the scene alongside two conservation officers.

“This was conservation’s call and their decision to shoot the bears or not,” Oelke told the Trail Times. “They are swamped with bear calls today (Wednesday),” he added. “And went from Sunningdale to Warfield to the school, and then to Salmo’s school.”

Oelke says historically with black bears, conservation doesn’t have the time or resources available to relocate the bruins.

Relocated black bears often return many miles to the exact location and resume the same behaviour, he added.

The Trail Times has made numerous calls to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service since the summer, but to date, all queries have gone unanswered.

“Too often we concentrate on the outcome (either the destruction of the bears, or their hazing or relocation) and we gloss over the underlying reasons why this action had to be taken on in the first place,” says Frank Ritcey, provincial coordinator for WildsafeBC.

The more important question, is “Why does this happen?”

“If people were to manage their attractants properly (garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, pet food, etc.) then there would be little reason for a bear to be in an urban setting at all,” Ritcey explained.

Sharon Wieder, from Rossland/Trail WildsafeBC, has mentioned many of the area’s residents are very good at managing their attractants, he added. “But all it takes is a few people who are not working at “keeping wildlife wild and communities safe” to undo the good the others have done.”

Compared to 2014, WildsafeBC has documented a spike in local bear calls his year. According to the organization’s data, 47 bear reports from the Rossland/Trail area came in August compared to 3 in 2014, and September’s call volume more than doubled to 76 from 33 last year.

He says a spring with lots of green grass and wild food for bears followed by an early berry crop kept bear calls low until mid-summer.

“However, the long hot dry summer had berry crops finishing early in most parts of the province and this has prompted bears to look elsewhere for food,” Ritcey said. “Unfortunately they look to our backyards and when they are rewarded with unsecured garbage or unpicked fruit they are going to stick around.”

WildSafeBC is a program designed to reduce human-wildlife conflict through education, innovation and cooperation. For information, visit or call 250.828.2551.

Just Posted

Trail military exercises provide crucial training

Exercise Sapper Crucible: ‘The nuts and bolts of what a soldier is’

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Thrums, Riondel, and Slocan, revisited

Place Names: Scottish author delighted by Thrums name origin

Last stand for Silver City summer

Fall officially arrives in Trail at 6:54 p.m. on Saturday

Tell the Times

Web Poll: Will you be attending a candidates forum in the Trail area?

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read