A longtime resident of Thetis Island said he’s never seen a bear on the island. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dead black bear washes up on Thetis Island

Conservation officer determines it had been in the ocean for a long time

A dead black bear has mysteriously turned up on Thetis Island.

Chris, a longtime resident who asked that his last name not be used, was mystified by the find Monday morning in Preedy Harbour.

“We don’t have any bears on Thetis Island to our knowledge,” he said. “No bears here, cougars sometimes. It’s actually quite high on the beach.”

A colleague contacted the BC Conservation Officer Service. The immediate concern was whether the bear had been killed by a hunter or died of natural causes.

Andrew Riddell of the BC Conservation Officer Service confirmed the latter after reviewing a photo and videos of the bear taken by Chris.

“It looks like that bear’s been in the ocean for a long time, based on how the hide’s been washed off,” said Riddell.

“Currents could have brought it from anywhere for it to wash up on Thetis Island.”

He determined it’s a big male and not a cub, and “anything could have killed it.”

Some of the decomposition seen could have resulted from predators in the ocean and the weather.

The bear remains on the beach and Riddell said no investigation will be necessary to determine how it died. Being on an island presents some challenges for disposal, but somebody will have to be found on Thetis for that task, he added, and information has been passed along to the Duncan Conservation office.

The beached carcass has a nasty odour and Chris reported birds were on it.

Riddell said one other call to the Report All Poachers and Polluters tip line about the bear indicated its paws had been removed, which would have constituted an offense and required an investigation, but the photo and videos refuted that claim.

bearsWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

McKenzie interchange project drives towards completion

Motorists asked to continue following construction zone signage as crews will be on site into the fall

North Saanich among six communities facing ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Findings appear in a report that also analyzed daycare in Central Saanich and Sidney

Victoria city council in support of floating dock on Gorge

City staff will bring forward a report on the dock in November

Tour de Rock turns community bubble relay race amid pandemic

Alumni will take on socially distanced leg of race in their hometowns

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read