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UPDATE: Grizzly has been tranquilized and removed from Trail

Grizzly update; Conservation Officer Blair Thin was headed back to Trail on Monday
Dan Tweed had a large visitor in his Warfield backyard on Sunday afternoon. Tweed said this grizzly, which has been spotted around the area, wandered up to the Byron Street Park and ate for a while before heading back into the bush.Dan Tweed photo

UPDATE: CO Blair Thin contacted the Trail Times at 4:30 p.m. Monday.

The grizzly bear was successfully tranquilized on Ritchie Avenue in Tadanac at about 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. The Trail Times will have the full update on Tuesday. Great news!


“No fear of humans will kill this bear.”

So don’t make this grizzly comfortable in backyards, advises BC Conservation Officer Blair Thin.

Grizzly bear sightings began near Warfield and Tadanac around Sept. 14, but after a quiet week, hopes were that the bruin had wandered back up the mountain to a natural range.

Those hopes were dashed this weekend when the large silverback was spotted numerous times, usually on trails or in backyards from Annable to Upper Warfield.

BC Conservation received a dozen calls in three days, the most recent being on Ritchie Avenue in Tadanac early Monday morning.

The Trail Times talked with Thin as he was headed toward Trail to track the bruin and check the many traps conservation officers set up last week.

He said at this point, the bear has not displayed any signs of aggression or caused property damage. But that could change instantly - so he advises locals to be very cognizant of their own actions.

“This bear is eating apples, apples and grass,” he said. “So get the fruit off your trees, when food is not around, the bear will disappear … and to lure it into a trap, I am competing with all the other food sources in the area.”

It’s only September, so there’s a long way to go until hibernation, he warned.

“Bears hit the sack when it’s a lot colder and the food has dried up,” he said. “So it’s pivotal on Mother Nature dictating food availability. But if this bear gets habituated to a food source, like fruit trees, and that food disappears when it’s not ready to hibernate, that’s when it will start hitting garbage,” Thin emphasized.

“Unfortunately, if this bear starts hitting garbage, it’s game over - we will be destroying this bear.”

He also had a warning for up-close-and-personal shutterbugs.

“There hasn’t been issues with public safety yet, ” Thin said. “The only thing of concern is when people do notice it, they got out with their video cameras and cameras trying to get a video or still photos of this bear, which does present a potential risk to their safety.”

But that safety risk is two-fold.

“At the same time what they are doing is habituating this bear to human contact,” he advised. “The bear is looking at these people who are not scaring it off or harming it, so the bear does not care about human presence - and that is the number one reason why were are going to have to kill that bear,” Thin stressed.

“So let’s not make this bear comfortable, when it’s sitting under the apple tree.”

That’s a great photo op of a beautiful grizzly to show the family, he said.

“But get it out of there, if this bear is going to survive, you have to put the fear of humans into it.”

Over the weekend, social media swirled with speculation that more than one grizzly is in the area.

Thin said conservation can only verify the presence of one bear.

He also put another rumour to rest. Reports circulated early Monday that the grizzly had been trapped near Webster Elementary School.

Indeed a bear was trapped, but Thin confirmed it was a small black bear attracted to the bait apples.

On Friday, local WildsafeBC coordinator Desiree Profili issued an advisory about the grizzly sightings around Warfield, Oasis and Tadanac.

“It is a healthy big bear who is searching for range and exploring for food,” she said. “Our hope is to keep it wild and keep it from becoming food conditioned.”

Yes, there are some food sources beyond control, such as grasses and small mammals.

“But there are many food sources that we can control that are not natural for the bear,” she warned. “So please keep your garbage secure until the day of pick up, refrain from putting fish or too much green matter in compost, and please pick your fruit and store it indoors.”

Profili advises composters to add brown matter like leaves, grass and coffee grounds to minimize odours, keep pets leashed, and to walk or hike with awareness.

She added, “Let’s work together to keep our wildlife wild and our communities safe.

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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