Conservation officers are hoping to capture a young black bear that has been getting too comfortable with picnickers at White Pine Beach in Belcarra Regional Park.
Complaints surfaced as recently as last Thursday that the bear was walking along the beach, but when it began pawing people’s belongings, Metro Vancouver parks staff closed the beach and BC Conservation Officers set a trap.
“We do have an officer there right now, the focus is to capture that bear,” Sgt. Todd Hunter told the Tri-City News on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, beach-goers will have to stay away from White Pine until the situation is resolved.
“Right now the level of habituation with the food situation, we can’t jut leave it there, we’ve got to remove it,” said Hunter, who said the fate of the bear won’t be decided until officers have more information about its history.
So far the bear hasn’t been aggressive, but has returned to the beach several times over the weekend looking for food, posing a potential risk to visitors.
“It is persistent. It’s not doing what we want it to do and take off from the area. It seems to be drawn to area and it’s likely because of the food sources. People are leaving some scraps and the officer observed someone throwing some bread to the bear,” Hunter said.
A spokesperson from Metro Vancouver said the park has been closed since 3 p.m. Saturday and will remain closed for public safety.
“White Pine Beach will be reopen as soon as the bear has been removed,” Don Bradley confirmed.