Whitehorse Daily Star

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Conservation officer David Bakica

Resident fined for leaving bear attractants on a deck

A resident in the Tagish area was fined $100 this week for causing a black bear to become a nuisance by leaving garbage on his deck unsecured.

By Chuck Tobin on July 3, 2020

A resident in the Tagish area was fined $100 this week for causing a black bear to become a nuisance by leaving garbage on his deck unsecured.

Conservation officer David Bakica said Thursday a renter on the property was walking up to check the main house with her dog late last Friday morning when the bear was startled and bolted off the deck.

The woman ran back to her cabin and called the RCMP, saying she had been charged by a black bear and it was still hanging around.

An officer attended the scene and shot the bear but only wounded it, the conservation officer told the Star.

When he arrived at the Tagish residence in the afternoon, Bakica said, he and the RCMP officer tried to track the wounded bear but lost the blood trail after about 300 or 400 metres.

It was unfortunate the bear was wounded and not killed, but it happens in that line of work and it has happened to him, he said.

Bakica said it’s been the experience of conservation officers that wounded bears become even more wary of people, not less wary.

Leaving out attractants only invites trouble, and in this case, the circumstances were more aggravating as the home owner knew there was a bear in the area and had cautioned the renter about it, he said.

Bakica said the garbage was in a tin trash can with an unsecured lid. There was also a cooler on the deck with bacon in it.

The bear had not yet gotten to the cooler but the conservation officer said it was likely only a matter of time before it did.

While the renter described the bear as charging her, Bakica suspects it was probably more a matter of the startled bear making its escape as quickly as possible. And the only way off the deck was toward the woman, he said.

He said the dog was also barking at the bear.

It’s been a relatively good year for bears, Bakica said. He said he knows of two bears that have had to be shot in Whitehorse, though there may have been others he’s not aware of.

Bakica said nobody’s sure of why there have been fewer bear incidents this year so far.

The past couple of years have seen several bears shot or relocated, and that may be a factor, he said.

With more people staying home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bakica said, it might be that bears are just not coming around as much.

Bears, he said, shy away from human activity.

Bakica said the renter described the black bear as younger and smaller-looking, which would make sense.

It’s generally young male black bears that tend to be a little more adventurous, and more willing to take risks compared to young female bears, he said.

Comments (8)

Up 12 Down 9

iBrian on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:21 am

The Grizzly Bear population fluctuates. The amount of Grizzly Bears in the Southern lake region I have a hard time believing there below a sustainable population. There are a lot, I mean A LOT, of Grizzly Bears in the Southern Lakes region. Haven’t done a Airborne Survey, but from being off the beaten track and in the back country, I can tell you it’s hard not to bump into a Grizzly Bear.
Don’t worry, the Federal government is coming up with a Grizzly Bear Conservation plan.
Which translates from neo-liberal means their gonna ban something.
You want to save the Bears then stop developing land and start building up.

Up 15 Down 15

Annette on Jul 6, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Sad to hear that people are behaving so irresponsible towards their human and bear neighbourhood. Black Bears and Grizzly Bears usually have to pay such carelessness with their lives. Please be also aware that Grizzly bears are getting rare. They are a "Species of Special Concern", listed under the federal SARA act.
The Grizzly population in the Southern Lakes region is considered not to be sustainable anymore. Please check out the website of Grizzlybearprotectionyukon.com

Up 31 Down 1

Max Mack on Jul 6, 2020 at 11:39 am

Surely it is not a good idea to leave "unsecured" (whatever that means) garbage on your deck in the communities. But, does "unsecured" mean bear-proof? The COs should just issue tickets to everyone in every small community If that's the standard.

As for shooting the bear . . . no attempt was made to scare the bear off? Bear bangers? Air horn?

Up 33 Down 0

Beverly on Jul 5, 2020 at 2:24 am

Please don’t bait bears into your yard or near your house. It is dangerous, ever after, for all people in the area as well as for the bear that takes your bait. Now a young bear is suffering, and will most likely die slowly or be killed by other predators. Just dummy up! Don’t Bait Bears

Up 61 Down 8

Another bear shot for no good reason on Jul 3, 2020 at 6:47 pm

Be aware that if you call the CO's, there is an extremely good chance they will show up to shoot the bear. Relocating is their next option, and that often ends up with dead bears because they are territorial. Do not run home and call the CO's without thinking this over. I am super fed up with people screeching for the CO's every time they have an encounter with a bear near their house. Go get a condo downtown!

Up 60 Down 15

Shoes on Jul 3, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Bacon in a cooler? garbage can? ......from now on all Residents of Tagish must pass a basic camping IQ test. Geeze people....

Up 75 Down 15

Joe on Jul 3, 2020 at 3:30 pm

$100 for a bears life. That’s just wrong.

Up 41 Down 16

Politico on Jul 3, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Well, a $100 should teach him a really good lesson, so there!!

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