Spare their bears, but find new lairs, locals declare

“If we do come, we would shoot it and kill it,” man says conservation officer told him

  • Oct. 29, 2015 10:00 a.m.
This bear cub has been frequently sighted in Carlene La Hay's yard in Dewdney.

This bear cub has been frequently sighted in Carlene La Hay's yard in Dewdney.

Laura Rodgers, Mission City Record

 

A bear cub has slept the past 10 nights in James Klassen’s pear tree, just 20 feet from his front door in Hatzic. He wants to send it back to the wild, but conservation officers say they aren’t able to help.

“If we do come, we would shoot it and kill it,” he said a conservation officer told him.

Carlene La Hay, who lives in Dewdney, heard the same when she called about the cub frequenting her yard.

“[It’s] been in our yard [for] over 10 days…I was given the exact same info from the conservation officer I spoke with,” said La Hay.

Klassen told The Record the small black bear cub hasn’t caused him any harm, so he told the officer not to come. Now he isn’t sure what to do.

“It’s a little baby black bear, probably born in the spring. It can’t be more than 60 pounds,” he said “And there’s no mother around he’s scared. As soon as you get close, he just runs away.”

The cub began scavenging the last few over-ripe pears from the yard’s 18-tree grove two Sundays ago.

La Hay’s cub is about the same size — she compares it to a large racoon, and her cat’s been chasing after it. She said it’s been seeking out acorns from her yard’s oak trees.

“He just sat there in the tree, eating his pears in front of us,” said Klassen said. “I thought he was going to leave when the food ran out.”

Now, he sees the cub confusedly wandering through the two cleared acres in his yard. Once, he caught the bear trying to eat its own waste. “I think he’s starving now,” said Klassen.

The cub in Klassen’s pear tree

 

 

 

 

 

A family with small children lives on the other side of Farms Road, so he doesn’t want the cub to take up permanent residence there. Last Saturday, he asked a conservation officer what they could do.

He said he was told they don’t relocate bears, because of worries about them returning to populated areas.

Steve Jacobi, a conservation officer who supervises the Fraser Valley area, said moving a bear this late in the year would likely be a death sentence. When dropped off in an unfamiliar area, bears face stiff competition for feeding territory. They need to save up fat for winter hibernation, but they often try to make the long journey back where they came from instead.

Klassen’s cub, wandering his yard

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black bears are common around Mission, and the Conservation Officer Service wouldn’t consider a small cub in a yard to be a threat, Jacobi said. If Klassen doesn’t want the bear to return, he could try making a loud commotion in the yard, putting an electric fence around the tree or chopping the tree down, the officer added.

Klassen hopes there is some way to move the cub out of his yard but keep it alive.

“I don’t want (them) to kill it…I don’t know what do to with this little guy,” he said.

According to Bear Awareness safety information from the District of Mission, seven bears were shot in Mission in 2014.

Jacobi reminds locals not to approach or feed bears, and not to leave out food in the open or in unsecured containers. If a black bear gets too close, you should try to appear as large as possible, make loud noise and back away slowly.

For more information, call WildSafe BC at 604-702-5005.

 

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

Just Posted

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near Chilliwack secondary

Third high-school related assault Rob Iezzi’s cameras have captured since beginning of 2021

Fraser Health issued an overdose alert on Jan. 21, 2021 after an increase in overdoses over the past week in Chilliwack associated with a “greeny-blue/turquoise down substance.” (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fraser Health issues drug overdose alert in Chilliwack

Alert comes after increase in overdoses associated with ‘greeny-blue/turquoise down substance’

A free online series on advance care planning is being hosted by two Abbotsford organizations on Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 and 10. (Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash)
Online workshop series addresses ‘advance care planning’

Three sessions hosted by Abbotsford Hospice Society and Association for Healthy Aging

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read