Grizzly seen in Thornhill area believed to be passing through

Conservation office is keeping an eye on sow and cubs sighted near Krumm Road

Residents in Thornhill worried about a grizzly sow and cubs who have been sighted in several areas can rest assured that they are believed to just be passing through.

Conservation officer Scott Senkiw said his office is aware of the bears.

“At this point in time, a trap has not been set,” said Senkiw.

“We will monitor the situation and I have spoken with a member of the public who has been involved with the related facebook posts as she came into our office to speak with me about it. To my knowledge, the sow and cubs are not habituated and are simply moving through.”

Senkiw added that someone reported that the sow allegedly bluff charged a vehicle, but it seems to be an isolated incident.

If anything more happens, conservation will deal with it accordingly, he added.

A bluff charge is best described as a brief display of energy, but no intent to make contact; it is essentially a warning, explained Senkiw.

“A sow does not want to put herself in danger with unnecessary altercations because it could leave her unable to care for her young,” he added.

“She just wants to provide the perceived threat a warning to give her and her young space to go about their way.”

It is usually due to a fast approaching vehicle and the sow has had no warning to move her cubs along, he said.

A sow demonstrated this type of behaviour in Kitimat earlier in the year and she has since moved on, added Senkiw.

“And yes, especially with grizzlies, people do often gain a heightened sense of concern. And this is good, because it fosters diligence,” he added.

Conservation officers have had a busy season and have had traps out consistently, said Senkiw.

The reason typically involves household garbage, but not always, he added.

“Community members are reminded to be conscientious with attractants and especially during peak bear season,” he said.

“I am excited to know there is an initiative to remove ripening fruit as that is one of the major attractants in many human/wildlife conflict reports.”

That initiative is a call out to fruit tree owners from the Kalum Community School Society, which is offering its volunteers to pick ripened fruit from residents’ trees for its Fruit Tree Registry program.

To arrange for a fruit picker, call 615-8874 or email jenny@kcss.com.

“We are blessed to have a healthy population of bears and co-existence begins with tolerance, and respect,” said Senkiw.

“If communities work together to give bears no reason to linger in residential areas, there is an inherent mutual benefit to humans and wildlife alike.”

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