A grizzly bear had to be destroyed after it wandered onto hotel property in lower Thornhill Aug. 23.
Terrace RCMP and conservation officers were called to the Copper River Motel by the RV campground and found a young male grizzly bear that showed no fear of humans, said conservation officer Kevin Nixon Aug. 24.
The teenage male bear, probably about four years old and healthy, was in amongst campers and people were unable to scare it away so conservation had no choice but to put it down, said Nixon.
“We feel it’s the same bear but for sure we don’t know,” said Nixon, referring to a bear known to have been eating garbage and that was seen and videotaped in a Copper River Estates backyard a couple days earlier.
“Even looking at the video, a bear eating raspberries and being yelled at in a backyard should skedaddle,” he added.
“This isn’t the bear’s fault, this is people’s fault, allowing bears to get into garbage when they should not allow their garbage to be available to the bears,” said Nixon.
“Unfortunately, the reality is once a bear is conditioned [to eating garbage], it puts us between a rock and a hard place. We had to make the decision [to destroy the bear],” he said.
Given the bear’s age and size, it was old enough to be on its own and conservation officers deal with a lot of these teenage male bears, who get kicked out by mom and get into trouble while trying to establish a new territory for themselves, said Nixon.
Conservation officers will be canvassing the area to see if there are any further bear sightings, and a bear trap set out in Copper River Estates will remain out, he added.
People are encouraged if they see bears or any wildlife acting abnormally, acting aggressively or putting public safety at risk to call the toll-free 24-hour RAPP hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on cell phones.