A bear attack in Metchosin that resulted in the death of a family pet prompted a renewed plea from the Conservation Officer Service for residents to be bear-wise and aware.
According to Sgt. Scott Norris of the Conservation Officer Service, an initial report of a cougar attack on a family Rottweiler on La Bonne Road in Metchosin came in on May 15. However, after examination, Norris said it was likely a bear attack.
“It was a very sad event where a dog was out in the yard and there was an altercation,” Norris said. “The bear was going to win.”
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There have been reports of bear activity near Matheson Lake in Metchosin, Norris said, adding its also the area where the attack took place. Bears have been getting into residents’ garbage and have become habituated, he noted.
In light of this incident and others, the Conservation Officer Service reminds residents to take necessary precautions to co-exist with wildlife. Garbage needs to be locked up, food should not be left out and attractants need to be managed accordingly. Norris noted that bears are not afraid of people or pets, particularly bears that have been habituated.
“People need to realize they live in bear territory,” Norris said. “There’s a law to follow which exists to protect bears, the public and pets.”
Wild Wise, a volunteer-run educational program that works closely with the BC Conservation Service, says garbage should be secured in a garbage shed or garage until the morning of collection. Livestock should also be protected with an electric fence and shelter. Fruit trees should be picked, windfall should be prevented and organic waste should be frozen to prevent it from smelling. Barbecues should be cleaned after every use and pets should be fed indoors. Pet and livestock feed should also be kept in a bear-resistant location.
Any bear encounters should be reported to hotline at 1-857-952-7277.