Burying bruin gets a second chance

Biweekly Conservation Office report

A healthy 300 + black bear bear got a second chance recently.

Conservation Officers received a fairly uncommon call recently in a local built up area. The original call came in to us via our 24 hour hotline (RAPP Line). The complainant stated that a bear was building a den under their house within our built up community. As expected, the homeowner didn’t want the bear to be destroyed but he didn’t want the bear to continue its den building either.

Conservation Officers arrived at the home and found that the bear had dug down into the soil approximately two and a half feet and horizontally three feet to be able to access the homeowners top sealed deck. During the den building process the bruin excavated large diameter boulders, shrubs and ground sprinkler piping. The bear was still regularly coming and going from the den in search of food, primarily residential apples, and had not moved into torpor (a deep sleep). Contrary to popular belief black and grizzly bears do not actually hibernate.

Due to the nature of the deck and geographic conditions, officers weren’t able to immobilize the bear in place. Officers set up and caught the bear in a culvert trap within a couple of days. The bear was assessed, immobilized (we don’t actually tranquilize bears), given an ear tag and released in a previously assessed location. Conservation Officers will determine if a bear is a candidate for relocation or translocation using: biologist input; local knowledge; conflict history of the specific animal; and a scientifically built bear response matrix.

The Conservation Officer Service would like to thank the homeowner and locals within the residential enclave for calling in the bear activity. Because they called our 24 hour hotline when the occurrence began and provided us regular updates that bear is alive today.

Conservation Officers are asking the public to report human-wildlife conflict occurrences to our RAPP line: 1-877-952-7277 (#7277 on your cell).

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