Terrace conservation officers relocated this spirit bear deep into the wilderness to keep it away from human territory. The bear likely roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years prior to being relocated. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service photo)

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Terrace conservation officers relocated a Spirit bear far into the wilderness to keep it away from human residential areas.

The bear got into a freezer situated outside a cabin in Rosswood, a small rural community north of Terrace, said Tracy Walbauer of the Terrace Conservation Officer Service.

“I’m not sure if he actually fed on anything in the freezer, but there was fish in the freezer and then we intervened immediately,” he said.

Conservation officers moved the bear about 50 km further into the wilderness.

“It’s still within its home range, so it could work its way back, but its got a big home range,” Walbauer said.

Walbauer said the bear is about 15 years old and has likely roamed the area for years.

“We believe it’s probably a 15-year-old bear, maybe 16 years old, based on his size, his teeth, and reports of a big Kermode bear in the area for that long,” he said, noting that the bear was large. “It was a big bear for sure. Probably 350 lbs. to 400 lbs.”

Spirit bears, also known as Kermode bears, are black bears with white fur resulting from a rare genetic mutation. They are primarily found in northern B.C.

Because Spirit bears are rare, conservation officers are far more likely to relocate them instead of killing them when they become too close to humans.

“When we catch them, we immobilize them, we look at them, make sure they’re in good shape, there’s no injuries, there’s no abscessed teeth or anything like that, and if they’re a candidate for being moved … that’s what we do,” Walbauer said. “Especially with Kermodes. We don’t do that with black bears. Conflict black bears we typically dispatch.”



jake.wray@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Canal Beach in Port Alberni open for swimming

Beach had been closed in July after high bacteria readings were detected in the water

North Island College offers resources for students learning online

College will hold a ‘virtual orientation’ this week

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Port Alberni company earns $10,000 grant from Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Company produces specialized equipment for large-scale mining, logging machinery

Bread of Life receives $10,000 donation from Western Forest Products

The donation will go towards COVID-19 community response

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Cooler days help crews fighting fire on mountainside southwest of Nanaimo

Firefighters making progress, but it’s ‘slow-going,’ says B.C. Wildfire Service

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Most Read