Careless humans to blame for recent bear deaths

Two bears were shot and killed by conservation officers in Whitehorse last week. One was a young black bear, about three to four years old that had been hanging out in Granger. “He was coming right into the community and had been spotted up by the Bigway Store.”

Two bears were shot and killed by conservation officers in Whitehorse last week.

One was a young black bear, about three to four years old that had been hanging out in Granger.

“He was coming right into the community and had been spotted up by the Bigway Store,” said Environment enforcement officer Kris Gustafson.

The bear “even pressed his nose against the door of someone’s house at one point.”

Conservation officers attempted to trap the bear, shot it with rubber bullets and “hazed it out” of the Porter Creek area several times, he said.

“But it was repeatedly getting into garbage that should have been stored better.”

It was shot Wednesday.

The other bear, shot the same day, was “a very old grizzly,” said Gustafson.

It was killed near the Whitehorse landfill.

“It had been trapped near the landfill and released with a radio collar,” he said.

But it came back.

It also got into someone’s moose meat and bluff charged them when they attempted to scare it off, he said.

“The bear had bedded down near Crestview and Porter Creek and was essentially starving.”

Its teeth were worn down to the gum line, he added.

Shooting bears “is really the last resort,” said Gustafson.

“We spent a lot of time trying to trap and deter them.”

The issue is people, he said.

“We need to educate people to not put their garbage out so bears don’t have to get shot.”

Barbecues, dog food and compost all attract bears, but poorly stored garbage is the biggest issue, he said.

Contact Genesee Keevil at gkeevil@yukon-news.com

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