British Columbia

Two black bears shot dead in Port Coquitlam

B.C. conservation officials shot two adult black bears this week in Port Coquitlam because they were posing a safety risk.

'It was going from home to home looking for food,' says conservation officer of one of the animals

Black bears have recently been displaying aggressive behaviour in B.C., officials say. (Becky Bohrer/The Canadian Press)

B.C. conservation officers shot two adult black bears this week in Port Coquitlam because they posed a safety risk. One had been a fixture in the suburban community since August.

Bears are a normal sight this time of year, but conservation officers are concerned that some are appearing in broad daylight, or showing signs of aggression.

Four bears have been shot this year in the communities of Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Coquitlam.

The two most recent incidents happened earlier this week after a bear broke through a residential fence in Port Coquitlam and displayed what conservation officers described as aggressive behaviour. That bear was shot dead.

"It was going from home to home looking for food," said Sgt. Todd Hunter of the province's conservation service.

A conservation officer loads the carcass of a black bear onto a truck in Port Coquitlam. (Stacey Plesko)

Officers shot another bear, which weighed approximately 227 kilograms (500 pounds), just a couple of blocks away. It was trying to enter a home, said Hunter.

The conservation officer said people need to lock up their garbage and remove any fruit from trees in their yards to ensure bears don't come looking for food on their properties.

Port Coquitlam resident Stacey Plesko said she was dismayed to learn that two bears were put down. Bears aren't uncommon in the region, she said, so people have an obligation to lock up their trash and not toss out food, which attracts the animals.

"Unfortunately, this is unavoidable unless people co-operate," Plesko said.

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