The B.C. Conservation Officer Service euthanized a black bear in Langford on Monday, saying it had become habituated to eating garbage and was indifferent to people.
Conservation officer Scott Norris said the bear, which was about three years old, was found near Millstream Road and Treanor Avenue.
He said there were several calls Monday as the bear went from garbage bin to garbage bin.
“When I showed up on scene, it was eating garbage 20 yards from the road,” he said. “We had to make that unfortunate tough decision — do we euthanize this bear?
“It’s the saddest part of our job, having to do that.”
Norris said garbage-habituated bears are not relocated, and a number of things were considered in euthanizing it, including the fact it was in a populated area and posed a threat to the public.
The case shows the importance of securing your garbage, Norris said. Not doing so can result in a $230 fine.
“The message we want to get out is the public needs to recognize that they have an obligation to lock up their garbage and other food attractants.”
That means putting garbage in a shed or a garage, or getting a lid that locks, Norris said.
He said it’s important to note that when a bear eats garbage, it also eats materials such as plastic.
“So people are making bears sick.”
The bear was not the same one seen in View Royal on Monday, Norris said.
Another bear was spotted early Tuesday in the area of Dysart and Gorge Road West.