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First North Shore bear killed this year on West Vancouver highway

'The bear had a broken back. It was severely injured. It was suffering and euthanized on site.'
Black bear web
A black bear rests in a North Vancouver backyard in July 2020.

The first North Shore bear to be killed this year has been euthanized after being struck by a driver in West Vancouver.

The incident happened just after 2 p.m. on Friday (June 10) close to the Highway 1/Highway 99 merge at Horseshoe Bay, said Sgt. Mark McLean, West Vancouver Police Department spokesperson.

The driver was fine and the vehicle sustained only minor damage but the bear was critically injured. There was a B.C. Conservation Officer Service member in the area who came to deal with the wounded bruin.

“When the officer responded, the bear had a broken back. It was severely injured. It was suffering and euthanized on site,” said Sgt. Simon Gravel.

The black bear was a juvenile female, Gravel said.

Because of the cool and wet spring, there is still a lot of snow at higher elevations. That means berry crops are behind schedule in bear country, and there is plenty of grass for them to graze on at lower elevations, Gravel said.

“This year, we have more wildlife along the highway than usual,” he said.

Wildlife is at risk along many highways but the Sea to Sky Highway is particularly bad, Gravel said. It’s best for drivers along wildlife corridors to slow down and be vigilant, he added.

“It’s something that happens every year, he said. "A lot of people are driving above the speed limit. Be aware that we live in a place with a lot of wildlife,” he said. “We lose too much wildlife on the highway, that’s for sure.”

If an animal along the road appears to be in distress or causing a hazard, it should be reported to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service or police, Gravel said.

So far, no other bears have been killed or relocated in the region this year. Gravel said he hopes to see things stay that way.

“We are asking the public to be very vigilant with attractants,” he said.

brichter@nsnews.com
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