The following letter was received at Municipal Hall today:
From: Nankivell, Nathan ENV:EX
Sent: May 26, 2010 10:03 AM
Subject: Response for Bowen Island Residents
Dear Residents of Bowen Island,
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Thank you all very much for taking the time to write in with your concerns. Due to the volume of email received from your community regarding bear concerns, I am sending one response to all of you in order to save time and provide consistent information to all concerned.
As I am sure all of you are aware, the young male black bear did not leave Bowen on his own as we had hoped he would. As a result, the Conservation Officer Service will be attempting to trap the bear with the aim of translocating it. We have taken this step to prevent the bear from becoming habituated (no longer afraid of humans) or food conditioned (used to eating human food which is similar to an addiction). Once a bear exhibits either of these behaviours it is no longer a candidate for translocation as there is almost no chance that it will return to the wild.
It is also worth noting that despite translocation, this bear may remain a problem in the area and may again return to Bowen Island. The issue being that this young male is likely trying to secure territory. Due to the high population of black bears throughout the Sunshine Coast it is possible that the bear has already been pushed out of other areas by more dominant males and may have a problem finding territory of its own. That being the case, the bear may return to Bowen as it now knows there is food there and there are no other bears in the area. Thus we suggest that you remain vigilant in managing any food attractants that could lure the bear back, even from many miles away.
For those of you who interested in updates, the COS will try to provide information to the municipality whenever possible, however, we will be unable to provide regular updates to individuals. I hope this provides sufficient information to you all and additionally, we have provided some links to information below in case you are interested in learning more about preventing conflicts with bears.
A/ Division Initiatives Manager
Ministry of Environment