Two Conservation Officers from Williams Lake came down to Bella Coola last week after a large male grizzly killed two young steers in Firvale.
The steers belonged to long-time Bella Coola Valley locals and farmers, Richard and Rose Blewett. Rose said she has seen many a grizzly in her fields over the thirty plus years they have been there, but this was the first time they had lost any cattle.
“The bear killed both of them overnight, he just tore their faces off,” Rose recounted. “In all these years, we have never lost any cattle to bears.”
The COS set snares for the animal when they arrived the following morning but what happened next was interesting.
“The officers were able to observe the bear and he was definitely wary of the snares, which was unusual,” said CO Len Butler. “We’re not sure if he’d been trapped before but he was not going near them.”
Butler said that once the bear returned to the site of the kill the officers were able to dispatch him.
“It was a large male grizzly that woke up hungry,” Butler confirmed. “We’re confident it’s the same bear that killed the steers.”
The Blewetts had been raising the steers as meat cattle for the winter. They were the only two they had.
“After the flood we couldn’t cut hay,” Rose explained. “So we had been raising these two animals for food. However, I’m hopeful we will be compensated for them.”
If anyone has concerns with grizzly bears or other wildlife, please call the RAPP Line – Conservation Officer Service toll free at 1-877-952-7277.