Baby bears caught while another naps in a tree
Two down, four to go.
Kamloops conservation officers have captured two orphaned bear cubs that had been frequenting the Sun Rivers golf course — and officers hope they will have similar luck with a mother and three cubs who have been spotted repeatedly in the area of McArthur Island Park, Tranquille Road and Singh Street on the North Shore.
"We had two specialized live traps set up at Sun Rivers, then the bears showed up across the highway at the Mount Paul Golf course in a tree," conservation officer Darcy McPhee told KTW. Officers were able to tranquilize both bruins, who are now lodging at the conservation warehouse.
"They're doing fine," he said, adding the cubs will be handed over to a rescue organization.
"Right now, we're making calls to the different rehab facilities around the province to see who has room."
With the Sun Rivers cubs in custody, the conservation service is stepping up its efforts to trap and relocate the McArthur Island bears, which have been in the park on and off since late August.
Though the bears had briefly relocated to the Tk'emlups Indian Band reserve, McPhee said they have been quite active during the past week. Three live traps have been set up, while city parks staff have closed the nature trail behind the McArthur Island Golf Course.
McPhee said the closure is a big help to conservation officers as it reduces the chances of bear-human conflict.
"What we're really afraid of is someone coming through there with a dog," he said, noting that would almost certainly lead to the bear charging, which could force conservation officers to take more lethal action.
For the moment, McPhee said the plan is to relocate the animals locally once they are caught.
Meanwhile, another bear visit ended peacefully in Riverside Park on Thursday, Sept. 6.
The area near the park's water park was cleared at about 5 p.m. when the bruin climbed a large willow tree looking for a place to sleep.
However, because the bear displayed no signs of aggression, conservation officers decided to let it have its nap and leave the park on its own.
"It was really the right thing to do," McPhee said.