A longtime resident of Thetis Island said he’s never seen a bear on the island. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dead black bear washes up on Thetis Island

Conservation officer determines it had been in the ocean for a long time

A dead black bear has mysteriously turned up on Thetis Island.

Chris, a longtime resident who asked that his last name not be used, was mystified by the find Monday morning in Preedy Harbour.

“We don’t have any bears on Thetis Island to our knowledge,” he said. “No bears here, cougars sometimes. It’s actually quite high on the beach.”

A colleague contacted the BC Conservation Officer Service. The immediate concern was whether the bear had been killed by a hunter or died of natural causes.

Andrew Riddell of the BC Conservation Officer Service confirmed the latter after reviewing a photo and videos of the bear taken by Chris.

“It looks like that bear’s been in the ocean for a long time, based on how the hide’s been washed off,” said Riddell.

“Currents could have brought it from anywhere for it to wash up on Thetis Island.”

He determined it’s a big male and not a cub, and “anything could have killed it.”

Some of the decomposition seen could have resulted from predators in the ocean and the weather.

The bear remains on the beach and Riddell said no investigation will be necessary to determine how it died. Being on an island presents some challenges for disposal, but somebody will have to be found on Thetis for that task, he added, and information has been passed along to the Duncan Conservation office.

The beached carcass has a nasty odour and Chris reported birds were on it.

Riddell said one other call to the Report All Poachers and Polluters tip line about the bear indicated its paws had been removed, which would have constituted an offense and required an investigation, but the photo and videos refuted that claim.

bearsWildlife

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

Just Posted

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Saanich council seeks more information after hearing Uptown-Douglas plan

Council asks for further reports on economic, housing, transportation plans for corridor

Alf Todd on a mission to fight Parkinson’s disease

Todd and group hope to raise $10,000 riding bikes to Port Alberni

Victoria police seize replica handgun and bullets

Unrelated call leads police to functional replica

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read