A local woman says something has to be done after witnessing a bear carcass being dumped at the Mission landfill site.

Woman traumatized after seeing bear carcass disposed of at B.C. landfill

WARNING: Story contains an image that may be disturbing to some readers

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that may upset readers. Discretion is advised.

Breanna Kettlewell says she was traumatized last week at the Mission landfill after watching a dead bear being dumped.

She was at the landfill site on May 2 to drop off a load of refuse.

“As I’m pulling in, I saw the conservation officers pulling in with a trailer on the back. So I watched them and they go and dump a baby cub into a pile of landfill. It was really upsetting to see,” Kettlewell said.

She said she decided to “keep my eyes and ears open” when she went back to the site on Monday, May 6.

“Lo and behold, what did I see? Another baby cub being dumped.”

The dumping did not take place at the front portion of the site, where most members of the public drop off their waste; rather, it was at the face of the landfill at the back of the site.

“Obviously, I want fewer bears being shot, for one. I want to know why these bears were killed in the first place. I mean, they’re cubs.”

Kettlewell said she hasn’t heard about any bear attacks in the area and has yet to hear back from any conservation officers.

She also said if – “and that’s a big if”– a bear has to be killed, its remains should be reused, either left for other animals to feed on or for cultural purposes.

READ MORE: Bear just wants to have fun

READ MORE: Is that Yogi Bear? Couple leaves picnic on B.C. beach as uninvited bear moves in

“But mainly my goal is that fewer bears should be killed.”

When contacted, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service released this statement to The Mission Record.

“Human-wildlife interaction is an ongoing public safety issue in communities throughout the Lower Mainland, especially in the spring and summer months.

“In the unfortunate event when an animal must be euthanized, the Conservation Officer Service (COS) works to ensure proper disposal of the body.

“In more remote locations, COS officers seek ways to dispose of the animal in the natural environment. In cases where this is not an option, such as those close to urban areas, often the only option is to transport it to landfill.

“In those cases, COS staff make efforts to ensure landfill operators dispose of the animal where it is not accessible to view.

“In this case, the bear in question was a high conflict animal which had recently entered a house in Maple Ridge. The bear was tranquilized and euthanized by conservation officers, as it was a threat to public safety and not a candidate for relocation.

“The COS brought the bear carcass to the landfill for burial. The photo was taken prior to the bear being buried. Conservation officers will continue to make efforts to ensure landfill operators dispose of the animal where it is not accessible to view.”

Barry Azevedo, the District of Mission’s manager of environmental services, said conservation officers have been bringing animal carcasses to the landfill for some time.

“They have to dispose of the carcasses somewhere. It could be road kill or other things,” he said.

The landfill actually accepts many dead animals at the sites, including horses, dogs, cats and more. Only cows are not accepted due to a high risk of disease.

Azevedo said the public doesn’t normally see the carcasses.

“Most people don’t actually go to the actual active face of the landfill. It’s only when you are disposing of something particularly bulky. Most residents drop things off at the garbage dropoff area by the scale house.”

Commercial businesses often go directly to the active landfill site, as do the conservation officers.

“That’s where the conservation officers come. They put it right at the landfill face, and it gets buried in a short period of time. Things are constantly being covered with soil at the landfill.”

However, Kettlewell said it isn’t hard to see the main landfill from the normal dropoff area.

“Where people usually dump the small stuff, you can just look right over the ledge and see the huge landfill,” she said.

“I just want something changed. It’s not right.”

Azevedo said people have an ability to help with the situation.

“A lot of bears get shot because they become nuisance bears and it’s because people aren’t managing their garbage or their fruit trees. They aren’t following proper bear-safe practices and if people did that, fewer bears would be shot,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Nelson council members display their October household plastic

The initiative was part of plastic awareness month

Nelson’s first cannabis store opens

Kootenay Cannabis Tree has been operating since Nov. 1

The show won’t go on without Terry Brennan

The Capitol Theatre’s technical director is its true star

Castlegar woman to appear on Dragons’ Den

Happy Gut sells water kefir beverages and kits to make water kefir at home.

Four injured in Wednesday evening crash near Beasley

Police say alcohol may have been a factor in the incident

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

B.C. man facing 18 charges after hidden camera found in Kelowna winery washroom

The camera was found at Summerhill Winery on Aug. 23

No new rules needed to ensure timely youth justice, Supreme Court says

Charter of Rights and Freedoms says someone charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Most Read