Four bears die after getting used to human food

Environment Yukon is asking Yukoners to be responsible after four bears were shot after coming in contact with human food.

Environment Yukon is asking Yukoners to be responsible after four bears were shot after coming in contact with human food.

Between May 9 and 14 four bears were killed in the territory. Environment Yukon says one was shot by an RCMP officer and three by conservation officers in Beaver Creek, Mt. Sima and Carmacks.

Killing the bears was a last-resort measure.

“Unfortunately, (the bears) had become food-conditioned and posed an immediate risk to public safety,” the department said.

Conservation officers can use a variety of techniques to recondition bears that came into contact with human food, for example shooting rubber bullets at them, but that doesn’t always work.

Hibernation has ended but food sources are still scarce, the department said.

“This is a high-risk time for bears approaching communities and residences.”

Yukoners are asked to properly manage their garbage, chickens and pets. Barbecues, food smokers and compost have to be regularly cleaned up.

It is an offence under the Wildlife Act to encourage wildlife to become a nuisance.

To report a violation, contact the TIPP line at 1-800-661-0525. Information on bear safety can be found at env.gov.yk.ca/bears.

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