A habituated mother bear had to be put down yesterday, leaving four cubs behind.

The cubs, who had climbed into a tree in College Heights, had to be tranquilized and relocated just this morning. In an unrelated incident in the same area, another bear tore through a resident’s storage shed.  

According to Conservation Officer Eamon McArthur, who was at the scene helping rescue the cubs this morning, the mother had become a danger to the public.

“The more habituated they become the more a safety concern they become for people. Bears that aren’t habituated usually keep a healthy distance away from people.”

He said the mother had to be put down because she was a “city bear.”

“She’s been around causing trouble, and it’s not her fault, it’s the fault of the public who won’t secure their garbage cans inside the garage, or at the very least secure the lid with a strap.”

The four bear cubs were safely removed from the tree with the help of the Prince George Fire Department. They are being sent to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, a bear rehabilitation center in Smithers.

McArthur says working with people on this issue is a constant problem.  

“We’ve been trying to deal with the public to manage their own garbage, we go on the news, we advise people, but it’s a struggle for sure,” he said.

McArthur said residents with unsecured garbage cans can be fined a basic amount of $230.