A small bear runs across Kipp Avenue in Chilliwack, being chased by an RCMP truck. (Submitted photo)

UPDATE: Young bear killed downtown Chilliwack was habituated to humans

Conservation officer says bear would not have been a candidate for relocation

A young black bear had to be killed on a residential street in downtown Chilliwack Wednesday, a conservation officer has confirmed.

The bear has been becoming more and more habituated over the past three weeks, and on Wednesday became aggressive with residents in the downtown core.

Sgt. Don Stahl, a South Fraser CO, told The Progress on Wednesday evening that the 150 lb., two-to-three year old male bear had charged at several individuals throughout the day. RCMP tried to follow him and see if he would return to the green space along the Hope Slough, as they waited for a CO to arrive on scene.

But the bear was not returning to green space, and seemed intent on exploring several residential areas.

The bear was even caught on camera along Kipp Avenue just before 2 p.m., by someone on their balcony. At that time, it was being slowly pursued by a police officer with its lights on. The bear was running west close to Stanley Avenue.

The video showed up on a Facebook page, along with countless comments about hoping the bear would make it back to the nearby greenspace. Instead, the bear made its way further into the downtown area, and was eventually shot by a conservation officer on Henderson Avenue near College Street.

Witnesses around the city updated the location of the bear until its demise near Central elementary school.

About 2:15 p.m., the police scanner mentioned a call out for a “wash down” at that intersection.

Central elementary, which was still in session, reportedly had a hold and secure while the incident took place.

Stahl says the bear made a running charge toward the school, and the CO on scene made the decision to take the bear down.

They have been watching the bear for three or four weeks, he says. It has previously been moved away from McCammon elementary, where it was spending time eating. The bear had distinctive cinnamon brown markings on its back, Stahl says.

“It was a very distinctive bear, and it had gotten very habituated,” he says.

“He was at the west end of Princess again today, and we received numerous call,” Stahl says. “Today it actually charged a couple times at people,” he added.

An aggressive teen bear is not suitable for relocation, he explains, as it wouldn’t be able to compete with older, bigger bears in the areas. Of the hundreds of bear calls they’ve received in this region this year, he says he believes this is only the second time a bear has been “dispatched.”

Conservation officers had already tried “hazing” the bear, which is pushing it back toward its natural habitat away from humans. That can work when a bear is not habituated.

He says when they’ve tried relocating these kinds of bears, at this age and size, it’s been unsuccessful because bears that are more than twice their size are very territorial. The habituated bears easily find their way back to populated areas, including campgrounds.

“It will keep coming back to town,” Stahl says. “We don’t like to do it, but we have to make safety for humans a priority.”


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Stray cats hit by cars require $11,000 in medical care, says Abbotsford SPCA

Six injured cats have been brought to branch in last two weeks

Abbotsford Liberal candidate says policies show Trudeau apology is sincere

Seamus Heffernan said ‘error in judgment’ not representative of Prime Minister or party

Trudeau brownface photos are ‘a teaching moment,’ UFV South Asian Studies professor says

Photos are ‘unacceptable,’ but Satwinder Bains says Trudeau must demonstrate his apology was sincere

‘This isn’t fun and games’: Fraser Valley academic explains why brownface is hurtful

Satwinder Bains says wearing brownface and a turban is unacceptable

Abbotsford cops will now issue electronic tickets for driving offences

System is more efficient and accurate, says Abbotsford Police Department

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Police warn of escalating violence, weapons in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park

Officers issue statement about high crime in the area that includes a homeless camp

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read