A bear that was seen wandering the West Shore last week was tranquilized and relocated, according to the Conservation Officer Service.
On Friday, calls were made to the Conservation Officer Service to report a bear sighting in the area of View Royal Elementary School. Previous to that, calls were also made about a bear that was in Colwood by the Esquimalt Lagoon and on the Royal Roads University grounds, according to Conservation Officer Sgt. Scott Norris.
Royal Roads University issued a campus alert on Sept. 25 warning students a bear sighting was reported on campus on the trail beside Sangster Elementary School. The warning was still in effect the morning of Sept. 26, one day before a bear was reported near View Royal Elementary School.
Norris said conservation officers believe the bear in View Royal was the same one spotted in Colwood.
While View Royal Elementary was initially in a hold-and-secure while the bear was at large, a Facebook post around 1:30 p.m. from the View Royal Elementary School PAC indicated the hold-and-secure was called off when the bear was “contained.”
Norris said officers were able to catch up with the bear and tranquilize it with the help of city staff. The bear was then assessed by the conservation officers and was found to be a healthy, one-year-old male.
“It was still showing signs of being wild so we made the decision to relocate it,” Norris said. “It wasn’t showing any signs of habituation, it didn’t want to be near people … it just kind of wandered into town.”
Since the bear seemed to be hiding from people and appeared to be wild, it was a better decision to relocate it, according to Norris. Bears that show signs of habituation and little fear of humans are often euthanized as they pose a threat to people.
Norris is reminding residents to ensure their garbage is locked up at all times and inside some sort of shelter like a garage or shed.
“Bears that get into garbage are the bears that are euthanized,” Norris said. “By law you need to contain and secure your garbage.”