People upset black bear euthanized in B.C. after lured by residents for viral video
A B.C. black bear was euthanized by conservation officers after it was lured by residents who wanted to take a video.
Last week, the bear, named Huckleberry by the North Shore Black Bear Society, was sadly put down after reports started coming in about it eating from garbage bins and organics carts.
The Conservation Service has often said that bears who become conditioned to human food need to be put down because non-lethal solutions do not change their behaviour.
However, this time, people admitted to leaving the food out to lure Huckleberry in for a video, which the North Shore Black Bear Society called "a death sentence."
"If only people had used a firm voice with you, you would have listened. Or respected you enough to not have any garbage or food scraps accessible in the first place. We did you a disservice, Huckleberry," they wrote in a Facebook post.
"You were willing to coexist, but people were not."
Since the news broke, people have criticized the officers for being too hasty in euthanizing the bear.
BC Conservation officers are too quick to euthanize animals. I have seen too many of these stories and it always ends badly for the animals. If the people are the problem, educate them. If they don’t listen, fine them! Stop making the animals pay the price.— Marlene Currie (@Organix2849) August 10, 2020
"Poor bear euthanized through no fault of his own but due to stupid humans feeding him," another person wrote.
"What a shameful and unnecessary loss," someone else added.
Despite this, most criticism was directed at the people who fed the bear with some even calling for them to be fined.
People are so thoughtless and cruel. These campers knew damn well leaving food out for bears is not only dangerous but illegal. Now the rangers had to kill this magnificent animal all because these selfish people wanted to take pictures. I hope they are fined big time.— Nancy Smith (@NancySm19917303) August 10, 2020
"Why don't we start by naming the people involved with baiting the bear for the video. Completely disgusting," read one tweet.
In their own tweet, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service reminded people of the proper protocol when encountering a bear, which does not include taking pictures and videos.
CO’s have been busy with bear calls across B.C. Please do not approach or feed bears. The 1st thing you should do is NOT pull out your cellphone to take pictures or video if you spot one – doing so can put your safety & that of the bear at risk by it learning not to fear people.— BC CO Service (@_BCCOS) August 10, 2020
The North Shore Black Bear Society said that they walked Huckleberry back to the forest a few times but that due to the crowd of people they could not safely move him on this time around.
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