The Nelson City Campground where a black bear met its end last week.

Bear comes too close for comfort at Nelson campground

A black bear that wandered into the Nelson City Campground last week was destroyed by the local conservation officer.

A black bear that wandered into the City Campground last week was destroyed by the local conservation officer.

Just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, panicked campers alerted campground staff to a bear in the immediate area. The bruin had wandered down to the campground on High Street through the forested area behind the site.

Officials were called to the scene and concerned campers hunkered down in the facility’s shelter to avoid escalating the situation.

Before the conservation officer and Nelson Police Department members arrived, the bear was scared off. It rambled up the bank behind the campground and climbed high into a tree.

“If we are called out to deal with a bear, unless the bear finds its own way back into the bush, the results are not the best,” said Nelson Police Department Sgt. Janet Scott-Pryke. “But we don’t have much of a choice.”

Because the frightened bear showed no signs of coming down from where it had climbed, when the conservation officer arrived the decision was made to destroy the animal.

“There are a lot of people in that area with the campground and it’s a residential area,” said Scott-Pryke. “It’s amazing that it got down that far, but it’s not the first time this has happened.”

Though Nelson police officers assisted, it was the conservation officer who shot the bear.

“We have to assess the situation and make sure it can be done safely,” Scott-Pryke said of the process of firing within city limits. “We don’t just shoot willy nilly and everything is taken into account. Public safety is obviously paramount.”

Officials are asking the public to be diligent with garbage disposal so that situations like last week’s can be avoided in the future.

“If the bear reached a point where it has lost its aversion to people and become used to eating garbage instead of foraging for natural diet in the bush… it makes it easy for them and they stay,” said Scott-Pryke.

The veteran police officer said it’s upsetting for all involved when bears need to be destroyed.

“Thankfully we don’t have to do it very often,” she said. “For the officers involved, it’s not an easy thing to do because we don’t want to have to kill an animal.”

To report bear problems call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. If you have questions about solutions to human-bear conflicts email the local Bear Aware office at nelson@bearaware.bc.ca.

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

Just Posted

Practical fashion: Local designers make supplies for Nelson dentists

Surgical caps and gowns have been in short supply for dentists during the pandemic

Search effort underway for man missing around Slocan River

The man was reportedly swimming near Winlaw yesterday

Kootenay doctor among 82 physicians, dentists calling on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Structures not threatened by wildfires burning in the Arrow and Kootenay Lakes region

Official says more lightning-caused fires could occur in region over next 36 hours

Harrop-Procter Co-op restores Mill Lake trail

A shelter destroyed by wildfire in 2017 will also be rebuilt

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Penticton homes evacuated due to wildfire northwest of city

Emergency vehicles are at the scene near Sage Mesa, evacuation centre set up in Penticton

British Columbians worried as end of COVID-19 rental supplement looms

Single mom struggles as supplement was her saving grace

Three screening officers at Vancouver airport test positive for COVID-19

The public is not believed to be at risk of exposure

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Kootenay town

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

VIDEO: B.C. conservation officers free not-so-wily coyote with head stuck in jar

Poor pup was found with a glass jar stuck on its head in Maple Ridge

‘Do our lives count for less?’: COVID-19 exposes cracks in disability aid

In July, Parliament approved a $600 payment for people with disabilities facing additional expenses during COVID-19

Agreement between province, BC Hydro, First Nation, ends legal fight over Site C

B.C. will work to improve land management and restore traditional place names in areas of cultural significance

Most Read