At first glance, a video of a bear enjoying a stolen snack on someone’s front stoop would likely make you smile or even chuckle. But to conservation officers, that kind of behaviour is a serious red flag.
A video posted to TikTok on Thursday went viral, attracting more than two million views. The video was taken by a North Vancouver man, on his account @dadknowseverything. It shows him closing his front door on the snacking black bear, he then lets out a nervous laugh before showing the aftermath of his nearby fridge, which appears to have been cleared out by the bear.
In a statement Friday, B.C. Conservation Officer Service said the bear was put down Thursday, after receiving reports that it had tried numerous times to enter people’s homes.
“Yesterday, conservation officers were called to such a report and immediately responded to help keep the public safe,” reads the statement, which was posted to Facebook. “When they arrived, the bear had just left a house and was seen pushing on a door into a neighbouring home. The bear was put down.”
The COS said its officers had worked with bylaw officials to try and stop the issue of unsecure attractants – primarily waste bins that weren’t secured properly – that drove the bear to stick around the neighbourhood for weeks. Christine Miller of the North Shore Black Bear Society said the bear had broken into a shed to raid another freezer on a separate occasion, and had likely developed an appetite for frozen food.
“Despite our efforts, the bear kept repeating its food-conditioned behaviour,” the COS said. “Once a bear becomes food-conditioned to non-natural food sources, and shows a minimal fear of people, it is no longer a candidate for relocation or rehabilitation – the risk to public safety is simply far too great.”
Conservation officers tried to trap the bear, but were unsuccessful, according to the statement.
The COS said putting down any bear is an unfortunate outcome that it works hard to prevent.
“Unfortunately, the sad reality is that when people do not take precautions to properly secure attractants, it often leads to bears being put down in order to keep people safe,” the statement reads. “Conservation officers will be following up with enforcement action as warranted.”
As of Thursday, Sept. 22, the Ministry of Environment confirmed that no fines had yet been issued. But the ministry warned that residents with unsecured waste can face a $230 penalty under the Wildlife Act.
Securing your waste is the best way to keep people, and bears, safe. During the fall, bears will be trying to fatten up before winter, so it’s more important than ever to properly secure your waste and any other attractants.
The TikTok account did not respond to requests for comment.
This article has been updated to include comment from the Ministry of Environment and Christine Miller of the North Shore Black Bear Society.
Black Bear stole some shit!! Call the police there’s been a burglary!!♬ original sound - DadKnowsEveryting