A black bear, dubbed Huckleberry by Deep Cove, B.C., residents died on July 31, 2020, after becoming conditioned to food and humans. (North Shore Black Bear Society photo)

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Its name was Huckleberry and it was known by many in Deep Cove as a perfect neighbour who loved the bright red berry.

But last week, the black bear was killed by Conservation Officers after becoming accustomed to food left out by local residents – allegedly so they could take videos, the North Shore Black Bear Society claims.

The society, based in North Vancouver, had been keeping an eye out for the bear since it was first found eating scraps from an open organics bin on July 2.

“Even though you were eating, you were very easy to move on,” the society said in a Facebook post. “We walked you back to the forest and hoped to see you again on the trails.”

The society members came across Huckleberry multiple times in the weeks to come, each time using a firm tone and telling the bear to leave – which it would. Other property owners said that Huckleberry would stop by for a visit and was easily moved on.

But the society started to receive reports that the bear had developed a hankering for garbage. Most concerning, people admitted they allowed the bear to access their scraps in order to capture video instead of moving it along, the society said, calling the neglect a “death sentence.”

ALSO READ: Girl, 10, bitten on leg by bear on Lower Mainland trail

“If only people had used a firm voice with you, you would have listened. Or respected you enough to not have any garbage or food scraps accessible in the first place. We did you a disservice, Huckleberry.”

The society saw the bear for one last time on July 31, after responding to reports it was eating berries at the edge of a nearby forest. By the time staff reached the bear, Huckleberry was being followed by people trying to capture video of it eating out of an organic bin.

Society members determined it wasn’t safe to move the bear themselves, due to the crowd. The bear was tranquilized by conservation officers later that day and taken away to be euthanized.

Bears are killed, which B.C.’s conservation service refers to as “destroyed,” when they become conditioned to human food. British Columbians are urged to secure their garbage and organic bins and to keep a distance from bears.

So far this year, 14 bears have been killed. Conservation officers have responded to 103 of 624 calls received through the RAPP line. Zero have been moved to a different location.

“You were willing to coexist, but people were not. You showed us every time we met that you were a good-natured bear, we are deeply sorry that we couldn’t save you,” the society said.

“We’ll always have a place in our hearts for you, sweet boy.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Wildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mission couple cry fowl over District bylaw cracking down on backyard chickens

Bylaw enforcement letter states couple need to egg-vict hens or face daily $450 penalty

Chilliwack man pleads guilty to violent assault of elderly man in Abbotsford

Victim, 85, attacked while waiting at bus stop in November 2019

Staff shortages plague Mission Institution following recovery from COVID-19 outbreak

Guards at 60% of workforce; inmates suffer daily with lockdown, mental health issues

Long-term planning for jewel known as Vedder Greenway starts with survey

It’s the most popular trail system in Chilliwack with a half million local and LM users each year

Westbound Highway 1 stall in Langley blocking left lane

Congestion starting at 264th Street, crews on scene

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in B.C. farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

Chilliwack man, 31, in critical condition after altercation at Langley university

RCMP received a report of an ‘agitated man’ on TWU campus

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

Most Read