A day after local blogger Taryn Eyton wrote an open letter titled “You Killed a Bear”, a Vancouver man posted a video to YouTube of his experience with black bear while camping on the North Shore.
The video, titled “The scariest things I’ve ever woken up to…”, was posted by David Weale, who described his experience as “yet another exercise in trust”.
“If you have food in your tent, critters are going to come…”
In a Facebook post he writes “I placed them on the ground with the lid off and then he (or she, not sure really) licked them up like a dog out of the shaker bottle.”
Sergeant Todd Hunter with the BC Conservation Office says while they aren’t going to investigate the matter itself, they do want the public to be aware of how to avoid such encounters with wildlife in B.C.
“You’ve got to be aware that if you have food in your tent, critters are going to come looking for it. Obviously this black bear was interested in it.”
It’s an offence under the Wildlife Act to feed dangerous wildlife, and Hunter says black bears become habituated relatively easily.
“Once they do, it’s a progression towards the ultimate thing that we all hate to do, is destroy the animal. And if it could have been prevented, it’s definitely really hard on us.”
“We’re all living in bear country – we’ve got to make sure that we do our part.”
“It’s a sub-adult bear and it’s one those bears that’s not quite an adult, he’s definitely curious, making his way on his way, it’s not a cub or a yearling. He’s out there trying to learn the world on his own.”
And for that reason, says Hunter, people need to help BC Conservation efforts.
“So these bears in particular, it’s necessary for people to – well, one – help us out. If you’re going to go out there…we’re all living in bear country – we’ve got to make sure that we do our part.”
The video has already received more than 13,000 views, as well as a few pointed comments questioning whether or not camping near the Capilano River fish hatchery is legal, and why he would have food in his tent.
We were unable to reach Weale for comment before deadline.
From January through May of this year, 89 black bears have been destroyed by BC Conservation Service.
For more information on how to protect yourself, and wildlife, check out the BC Conservation website here.