Terrace conservation officers relocated this spirit bear deep into the wilderness to keep it away from human territory. The bear likely roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years prior to being relocated. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service photo)

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Terrace conservation officers relocated a Spirit bear far into the wilderness to keep it away from human residential areas.

The bear got into a freezer situated outside a cabin in Rosswood, a small rural community north of Terrace, said Tracy Walbauer of the Terrace Conservation Officer Service.

“I’m not sure if he actually fed on anything in the freezer, but there was fish in the freezer and then we intervened immediately,” he said.

Conservation officers moved the bear about 50 km further into the wilderness.

“It’s still within its home range, so it could work its way back, but its got a big home range,” Walbauer said.

Walbauer said the bear is about 15 years old and has likely roamed the area for years.

“We believe it’s probably a 15-year-old bear, maybe 16 years old, based on his size, his teeth, and reports of a big Kermode bear in the area for that long,” he said, noting that the bear was large. “It was a big bear for sure. Probably 350 lbs. to 400 lbs.”

Spirit bears, also known as Kermode bears, are black bears with white fur resulting from a rare genetic mutation. They are primarily found in northern B.C.

Because Spirit bears are rare, conservation officers are far more likely to relocate them instead of killing them when they become too close to humans.

“When we catch them, we immobilize them, we look at them, make sure they’re in good shape, there’s no injuries, there’s no abscessed teeth or anything like that, and if they’re a candidate for being moved … that’s what we do,” Walbauer said. “Especially with Kermodes. We don’t do that with black bears. Conflict black bears we typically dispatch.”



jake.wray@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Slocan River drowning victim’s body recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

79 calls to Trail RCMP over August long

Break & enters, mental health calls, and public intoxication are included in the Trail RCMP summary

International Cat Day today #meow

On International Cat Day please share photos of your love-able felines

Trail Parks and Rec opens TALC Fitness Centre

Trail Parks and Rec to open Trail Aquatic Centre’s gym on Tuesday, pool to open in mid-September

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read