Fall has officially arrived and it’s brought cooler temperatures, changing leaves and numerous incidents with bears around Golden.
Locals have been slow to adjust to that last reality, with some leaving garbage out and neglecting to clean up fallen fruit from their trees. Two bears, a sow and cub, had to be destroyed as a result and Conservation Officer Dan Bartol says there are other problem bears in the area that could eventually meet the same fate.
The mother and her cub were destroyed Monday near the hospital after being previously known to police and COs.
“The mounties were getting a number of reports…right in town and not where we’re used to seeing them,” Bartol said.
“These guys were seen right in the centre of town and were reported around the hospital a number of times.”
Reports of another sighting were forwarded to COs on Monday afternoon. When Bartol arrived, police had managed to tree both bears, who had been eating plums off the ground.
There are numerous conditions that must be met in order for COs to consider re-location, unfortunately the sow and cub didn’t come close to meeting two of the most important criteria.
“They were food conditioned and human habituated, two really bad characteristics for a bear,” Bartol explained.
After the sow was immobilized, she excreted in the back of Bartol’s truck. Pieces of plastic and plum pits were plainly visible in the bear’s feces.
The bears were the fourth and fifth to be destroyed in Golden this year, with the rest coming in the spring, but Bartol warns that there could be more incidents in the future if locals don’t comply with attractant regulations.
Other potentially troublesome bears have been spotted in the Pine Drive area as well as at the Golden Mobile Home Park (behind the Husky service station), a common problem area for bears.
Bartol says that he and his colleague Alex Desjardins have issued a single violation ticket so far this fall, and that education, rather than fines are his preference going forward. However, that doesn’t mean that officers will hesitate to issue fines when warranted.
“I live in the community, I don’t want to give my neighbours tickets. I also don’t want to kill bears out of my neighbours yards,” Bartol said.