Terrace conservation officers relocated this spirit bear deep into the wilderness to keep it away from human territory. The bear likely roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years prior to being relocated. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service photo)

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Terrace conservation officers relocated a Spirit bear far into the wilderness to keep it away from human residential areas.

The bear got into a freezer situated outside a cabin in Rosswood, a small rural community north of Terrace, said Tracy Walbauer of the Terrace Conservation Officer Service.

“I’m not sure if he actually fed on anything in the freezer, but there was fish in the freezer and then we intervened immediately,” he said.

Conservation officers moved the bear about 50 km further into the wilderness.

“It’s still within its home range, so it could work its way back, but its got a big home range,” Walbauer said.

Walbauer said the bear is about 15 years old and has likely roamed the area for years.

“We believe it’s probably a 15-year-old bear, maybe 16 years old, based on his size, his teeth, and reports of a big Kermode bear in the area for that long,” he said, noting that the bear was large. “It was a big bear for sure. Probably 350 lbs. to 400 lbs.”

Spirit bears, also known as Kermode bears, are black bears with white fur resulting from a rare genetic mutation. They are primarily found in northern B.C.

Because Spirit bears are rare, conservation officers are far more likely to relocate them instead of killing them when they become too close to humans.

“When we catch them, we immobilize them, we look at them, make sure they’re in good shape, there’s no injuries, there’s no abscessed teeth or anything like that, and if they’re a candidate for being moved … that’s what we do,” Walbauer said. “Especially with Kermodes. We don’t do that with black bears. Conflict black bears we typically dispatch.”



jake.wray@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Rolling the dice on the patina of old copper

At the Galleries: Summer days continue

Museum asks British Columbians for COVID-19 nature observations

Royal BC Museum collects information as part of ongoing pandemic project

Oak Bay pool to reopen Aug. 17

Swimming, other activities return this month

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read