Bear shot in Surrey by conservation officer

It had been wandering around in Guildford and Tynehead, also through schoolyards

The shooting of a black bear in Surrey by conservation officers has people riled.

But from the officers’ perspective, it had to be killed.

Inspector Murray Smith, of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, said the “sub-adult” bear had been wandering around in Guildford and Tynehead for about four days, passing through the school grounds at Harold Bishop Elementary school and Fraser Heights Secondary School.

“There was kids in the school at the time, and the principal had to hold the kids in the school,” he said. “It killed chickens. It got into the Toyota dealer’s commercial garbage. Everything got worse and worse and worse.”

The conservation service received 21 reports of the bear and set traps as it started moving toward Guildford Town Centre, making its way through backyards.

Surrey Mounties spotted it and put their sirens on. “The bear just kind of looked at them, it didn’t run away. And then the bear mosied right into a group of people, and scattered them, so the thing is the bear had lost its fear of people.”

“It’s really unfortunate,” he said, of having to put the bear down. “None of the officers get into this to destroy wildlife.

“Public safety is our priority.”

The bear was shot Monday night at a ravine near 160th Street and 104th Avenue, Smith said.

READ ALSO: Black bear spotted in Surrey neighbourhood

Holly Dampier-Piwowarski told the Now-Leader she was “not impressed at all.”

“Where is the respect for our animal kingdom?”

She said the “harmless” bear was “right behind my house” and “didn’t harm my family at all.

“Maybe our conservation officers could have taken the time to put the bear to sleep and move it to a location.”

Smith said this was the first confirmed bear sighting in Surrey since 2013. He said it’s believed this particular bear swam across the Fraser River from Coquitlam or Port Coquitlam, where there are on average 2,000 bear sightings reported each year.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

Debussy, Chopin, Bartok, and a selection of Celtic favourites

‘Music for a summer afternoon’ features live harp and flute performances at Trinity Western House

Vancouver Giants Scouts sticking with team for another season

Contracts extended for Head Scout Terry Bonner and Scouting Director Daryl Anning

Carson Crimeni’s mom mourns son

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Oppenheimer Park residents told to leave, clear out tents by Aug. 21

Police say park has seen influx of residents, violence in recent months

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read