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Bear captured in Squamish's Valleycliffe neighbourhood to be euthanized

Animal charged people and followed a child back from school: conservation officer
Alberthep bear trap245
Bear trap similar to the ones used in Squamish.

An attractant-habituated bear was captured in Valleycliffe and is set to be euthanized.

On Nov. 10, Sgt. Simon Gravel of the Conservation Officer Service said a black bear was caught that morning.

He said the bear, medium-sized and possibly sub-adult, has been exhibiting problematic behaviour since the spring.

"People were trying to chase him away and he was charging back people," said Gravel. "It did escalate to a point where a kid was chased by the bear after school going home."

The incident involving the child happened a few weeks ago.

Fortunately, in all the cases where the bear charged toward people, no one was hurt, he said.

However, this consistent behaviour led conservation officers to decide that it was time to capture and euthanize the animal.

"A lot of reports of drop charging and, obviously, that situation where the kid was followed by the bear — so the totality of the circumstances led to our decision to remove this bear. We kind of ran out of options at some point because the bear [had] such a persistent behaviour in our residential area," said Gravel.

He said that contributing factors include unsecured attractants and poorly managed fruit trees.

Gravel urged residents to take every step possible to secure garbage. If people have a garage or indoor space where they can store their totes, they should keep it there.

Fruit trees are also a major attractant and should be picked to prevent them from drawing the attention of bears.

"We captured another bear here that was released and still very, very active," Gravel said, noting that the public should still be on guard to clamp down on attractants in the area.

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