Two more bears killed in car accidents 

click to enlarge This year's booming bear population may be contributing to the increased number of highway accidents.
  • This year's booming bear population may be contributing to the increased number of highway accidents.

Two more black bears were killed on Highway 99 on Saturday, bringing the total to six bears killed by highway accidents in the past month.

A three-year-old female bear was killed near Function Junction Saturday morning after being hit by a vehicle. Conservation Officers found her dead by the railway track near the highway that day.

An older male bear was also killed by a car in Squamish Saturday morning.

“We are concerned. It is a difficult thing to control though. You know, we can’t control the movement of bears,” said Conservation Officer Chris Doyle. “And if people are obeying the speed limit, hopefully that will reduce some of the incidents. But obviously some of the accidents are unavoidable.”

Doyle said the highway deaths are related to the booming bear population. On the other hand, careless driving and braver bears probably have not played a huge role in the recent deaths.

In other bear news, Conservation Officers also shot a male bear attempting to enter an RV in the Kluane Campground on Friday. The two-year-old bear was relocated from Whistler to the Mamquam area three weeks ago because it was suspected of breaking into houses.

Doyle said Conservation Officers were not overly surprised about the incident, adding that translocation is not known to be highly effective in dealing with problem bears.

Doyle explained that some of the problems associated with translocation include bears returning somewhere else to cause conflict, bears not being able to survive in the new location, bears returning to where they came from, or bears having a negative impact on the local bear population.

He added that in the last few weeks, two other bears that were translocated ended up being shot.

And Conservation Officers are still trying to catch an orphaned bear cub in Nordic whose mother was killed two weeks ago for breaking into several homes in the area.

To report a sighting of the bear cub, call Conservation Officers at 604 905 BEAR ext 1.

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