A family of black bears that was generating hourly calls to the conservation officer service in Fort St. John, B.C., has been tranquilized and relocated, wildlife officials say.
For more than two weeks, residents of the northeastern B.C. community had spotted the rare cinnamon-coloured bear climbing fences and roaming backyards with her two cubs.
Despite concerns from members of the public that the bears could pose a danger, the conservation officer service said the trio were sticking to a natural diet of fruits and berries, and so they preferred to monitor their movements and wait for them to leave on their own.
“They weren’t getting into non-natural food sources,” said conservation officer Brad Lacey. “They weren’t getting into garbage. They weren’t getting into human-provided materials.”
Additionally, Lacey said the family had been sticking to greenbelts and at one point it seemed they might be leaving town, but when they returned to residential neighbourhoods over the weekend, the decision was made to relocate them.
The trio were tranquilized Saturday and taken to a site out of town.
Lacey said while it’s positive the bears could be transported, it would have been better if they’d left on their own — and he once again asked members of the public to harvest fruit and berries and move garbage indoors in order to reduce the chances of animals coming into residential neighbourhoods.
“There are food banks that would relish someone coming and saying we have apples to be picked,” he said.
Black bear encounters have been making headlines across B.C. this week,with footage emerging of individual animals walking into liquor stores and hotel lobbies, and even walking right up to a runner on a popular Coquitlam trail.
Watch | Cinnamon- coloured black bears frolic in a resident’s backyard: