The recent accidental death of a cub from a tranquilizer was a rare event, says Squamish’s conservation officer.
Weeks of trying to capture a mother black bear and her cub, whom have been roaming Alice Lake campground for food, ended in tragedy on Tuesday (Aug. 14) morning. Conservation officers set up bear traps in the provincial park in an attempt to capture the creatures, but to no avail.
The mother had become a high risk to public safety, Sgt. Peter Busink said, brushing up against tents and fearlessly picking food out of people’s vehicles, including an RV.
Conservation officers and park employees poured resources into educating campers on the importance of proper food storage to avoid wildlife conflicts. Bear Aware pamphlets were handed out to upward of 1,000 people.
“People still failed to properly secure attractants,” Busink said, noting several violation tickets were handed out.
On Tuesday morning, the duo was spotted. The mother was shot and the yearling tranquilized with the intent to transfer the cub to the Critter Care Rehabilitation Centre in Langley. But, the cub did not survive the sedative.
“That is relatively rare,” Busink said.
The mother was missing her right paw, he noted. It looked to be an old injury, possibly from a run in with a vehicle, Busink said.
Busink thanked the dedication of BC Park employees and campground operators who devoted time to keeping campers’ sites attractant free.
“This is a reminder to campers to make sure they secure their food,” he said.
Animal sightings and conflict can be reported 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-877-952-7277.