A black bear in British Columbia has been killed after snacking on a dead body it found in a car.
Police said that they killed the bear because they thought it could be a danger to others as the body had not decomposed enough to give off a scent indicating he was not alive. The incident was also a mile from homes and a campsite, they said.
The body was that of murderer Rory Nelson Wagner, who killed a man in 1993 with two others and had served time in prison. Police said that his death was not suspicious.
2012 has seen a spate of killings of bears in Canada after they got into unfortunate contact with humans. These incidents are all within the last month or so.
Another was shot after it swatted a man in his hot tub in Whistler, British Colombia. The man, police said, “felt a heavy blow to the back of his head which propelled him forward in the hot tub.” He “turned around and found himself face to face with a black bear. He yelled at the bear and retreated inside the home.”
The bear made the mistake of hanging around on the man’s patio rather than walking off straight away. Police found it only 100 meters away when they arrived. Authorities said that the bear is going to have a necropsy performed on it, to “try to determine the reason for the attack.”
In May, yet another black bear was killed after it dragged a 65-year-old man from an outhouse near Sioux Lookout, Ontario. The bear bit him on the back of his head and neck, before being shot by the man’s camping companion.
Another was killed in British Colombia because humans didn’t secure their garbage and hence it became a danger to them.
One bear with a more lucky interaction with our species ended up in a garbage truck in downtown Vancouver. Though he was transported to an area near a good supply of salmon, his acquired taste for a varied diet will likely land him in trouble at some point.
Recently, another man in British Colombia was fined $6,000 for a decade of bear feeding. The bears he had fed lost their fear of humans. When he had to stop feeding them, some of them started to look elsewhere for easy food.
Writing in The Free Press, Dave Hamilton points out that “carelessly stored garbage and apple trees are the root causes of bear human conflict” in areas which humans share with bears:
Bears are natural scavengers, have great memories, a keen sense of smell and will remember an easy food source. Carelessly stored garbage, birdfeeders, dirty BBQ’s and fruit trees are open invitations to bears.
Once the berries run out bears will start passing through town in search for easy food sources. Owning a fruit tree in bear country is a big responsibility. Pick fruit daily as it ripens or pick it before it ripens if you don’t intend on using it and don’t allow fruit to accumulate on the ground.
When attractants are removed, bears will move on resulting in a safer community and preventing the needless destruction of bears.
Picture by r_a_berg