One young black bear was trapped on Abbotsford’s Old Clayburn Road and shipped to Harrison Lake without incident on Wednesday, while another bear made its way south across the TransCanada Highway and disappeared into farm land.
B.C. Conservation officer Don Stahl said his crew took a call about a bear knocking down bird feeders in the backyard at a hobby farm on Old Clayburn Wednesday afternoon. The property owner’s dog chased the bear 30 feet up into tree, where conservation officers found her.
The bear, a young adult female with a white patch on its chest, was tranquilized and transported in a bear wagon to the north end of Harrison Lake, said Stahl on Wednesday evening.
At the time conservation officers got the call about the treed bear, Stahl was already investigating a sighting of a bear near a townhouse complex on McKenzie Street immediately north of the freeway.
“It was seen pacing back and forth along the chain link fence,” he said. “He obviously found a hole and crossed four lanes of the busy freeway.”
The bear was then seen crossing the University of the Fraser Valley grounds to its residential block on McKenzie Road south of the freeway, then in farm fields further south of the university before officers lost track of its movements, said Stahl.
There have been several sightings of black bears in residential areas in central Abbotsford and at the lower reaches of Sumas Mountain this spring.
There is concern that the wild animals are finding food sources in garbage, pet food and bird feeders left outside. Once the bears become habituated to such food sources, they could be relocated but often nuisance bears are destroyed.
Seven bears were killed in Mission last year, but it could have been worse. The District of Mission began a Bear Aware education campaign last year aimed at residents to help reduce the amount of food attractrants left outside.
The successful program will be launched with an education blitz starting in Abbotsford next week.