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North Vancouver black bear reportedly put down after becoming habituated to humans

People allowed the bear, known as Huckleberry, to access food sources like garbage for a video, according to the North Shore Black Bear Society
Photo: North Shore Black Bear Society Facebook page

Tributes are pouring on for Huckleberry the black bear.

The bruin had become a local celebrity on the North Shore of Vancouver, but his interaction with people ultimately led to his demise.

Huckleberry was a common sight in Deep Cove area on the North Shore of Vancouver.

While the bear was not threatening, it was still a wild animal habituated to people and the food they were offering.

Conservation officers were forced to put Huckleberry down in a stark reminder that people should not feed wild animals because in the end, it is bad news for the animal.

“Reports started coming in of you finding easy rewards from garbage and organics carts. People admitted they allowed you to do that for a video and they neglected to move you on...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,” said a post on the North Shore Black Bear Society Facebook page.

“On July 31 you were eating berries at the edge of the forest. We headed out to make sure you were not being crowded or chased by dogs. By the time we reached you, you were being followed by residents who wanted a video of you eating organics from an unlocked cart. Due to the crowd of people, it wasn’t safe for us to move you on. When you finished eating, you calmly walked by and left our gaze. That was the last time we saw you. Later that day you were tranquilized by the Conservation Officers and taken away to be killed.”

The Facebook post has garnered close to 1,000 comments, most condemning those who fed the bear.

Said Diana Phillips: "This truly breaks my heart. As a human race...we suck for what we put you poor bears through that are just trying to survive & live your best life. So very sorry we took that from you sweet Huckleberry!? You were a good, sweet bear that we'll truly miss seeing around the forest & in pics. May you rest in peace beautiful sweet Huckleberry bear!"

Dasha P posted: "This is heartbreaking. Please tell me the residents involved in this were fined (or more). I hope they understand how their incredible selfishness has killed one of our beautiful local creatures and I hope this weighs on their shoulders."

Conservation officers have long said a habituated bear is a dead bear as they can not be reconditioned once they are introduced to eating human food and garbage and they have to be destroyed.

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