It’s tough to be a bear these days in Prince George.
According to data released by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the BC Conservation Officer Service killed 36 bears in the northern capital in 2021.
Other communities like 100 Mile House, Burns Lake, and Vernon weren’t too far behind with officers putting down between 22 and 16 bears.
On a much larger scale, between 2015 and 2021, 231 bear deaths have been recorded in Prince George by conservation officers – over twice the rate of fatalities tallied in Terrace, which had just 110.
Here is a complete breakdown of bear deaths by the community in the northern and Cariboo regions :
- Prince George – 231
- Terrace – 110
- Burns Lake – 103
- Quesnel – 102
- Smithers – 69
Province-wide, approximately 38 hundred black bears have been killed in the past seven years – an average of 540 black bears per year.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change issued the following statement to MyPrinceGeorgeNow.com:
- The COS is committed to reducing human-wildlife conflicts in communities across BC., which includes public outreach and education, training, enforcement, responses in the field, and supporting “Bear Smart’ communities.
- In the 10 communities which have been certified as “Bear Smart,” reports of bear conflicts have decreased by almost 20 percent. We have made great progress but clearly, there is more work to be done.
- The issue of human-wildlife conflict is complex and cannot be solved by the COS alone – it will take a broad approach as everyone has a role to play to keep wildlife wild.
- The Conservation Officer Service is financially transparent through the legislative budget and estimates process.
- If the Auditor General of BC moves forward with an audit, the COS will fully co-operate.