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

Rail group to bring plan to Abbotsford council

Group is calling for plans to run trains on rail line between Chilliwack and Surrey

UPDATE: New Abbotsford ER expansion expected to welcome patients in October 2020

Deadline for construction proposals closes, but construction timeline unknown

Mt. Baker climbers reach summit in memory of Const. John Davidson

Team includes Abbotsford Police members, Davidson’s 3 kids and others

Abbotsford ‘Champ’ bikes with confidence thanks to War Amps

Camden Loewen, 11, receives adaptive device to hold onto handlebar

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Hazmat incident closes down Lower Mainland street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

Most Read