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

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Harrison looks to test viability of solar power

Harrison has applied for a grant to see whether solar power is an option for its village buildings

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Funding uncertain, but Agassiz’s Storytime in the Park will go on, organizer says

The literacy program takes place each summer in Agassiz, Harrison and Seabird Island

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read