The B.C. Conservation Officer Service made the decision to relocate two grizzly bears that had been frequenting urban areas around Bella Coola for the past few weeks. Photo submitted

Conservation officers relocate two grizzlies away from Bella Coola

Officers worried the bears would become reliant on human food sources

Two young grizzly bears were relocated to a more remote area of the Bella Coola Valley this weekend by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service in hopes of avoiding future human conflicts with the bears.

The COS has been monitoring the two sub-adult grizzlies for the past couple weeks, but made the decision to relocate the pair, believed to be siblings, before they became habituated to humans.

“They’ve been accessing natural foods but because of the frequency that they’ve been seen in urban and rural areas, the decision was made to move them before they were rewarded by accessing human food sources,” said Sgt. Jeff Tyre of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Conservation Officer Service.

“It’s a short distance relocation within the valley and although it is highly likely that they’ll return, we’re hopeful that they will be more fearful of humans after this ordeal and that there will be sufficient natural food sources such as salmon available when they return that they won’t feel the need to search out human sources of food.”

Tyre said the success of this type of relocation and the human/bear conflict as a whole in the valley, is highly dependent upon the community’s ability to come together and effectively deal with attractants.

He noted conservation officers will be conducting an attractant audit in the valley this summer in an effort to educate and reduce bear attractants.

Read more: Bella Coola grizzly heading home soon

Read more: Grizzly bear trophy hunt to end Nov. 30


Williams Lake C.O. Ron Leblanc with a sub-adult grizzly near Bella Coola. Photo submitted

Bella Coola Valley C.O. Steve Hodgson inspects a young adult grizzly bear prior to relocation Saturday. Photo submitted

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