A large black bear is believed to be responsible for killing several sheep in Metchosin. One of Bev Bacon’s lambs were killed over the B.C. Day long weekend. The bear was caught on a wildlife camera returning to the carcass. (Gary Schroyen photo)

Metchosin mayor upset with B.C. Conservation’s response to sheep killings

One bear believed to be behind recent killings

Bev Bacon’s B.C. Day long weekend was off to a fine start until she found out one of her sheep had been killed by a bear in a pasture near her Metchosin property.

She arrived to find the lamb with fatal bite marks and immediately called the B.C. Conservation Officer Service in hopes of having them track the bear down with dogs or set up a bear trap – but to no avail.

“We missed a perfect opportunity to get this bear because of the holiday weekend,” said Bacon in an email sent to conservation officers.

“The problem as I see it with our present system is that your department is understaffed and spread too thinly. It is perfectly reasonable that your priority has to be where carnivores are a threat to people.”

But with livestock left to protect, Bacon proposed a collective of sheep farmers buy their own live trap and store it at the municipal yard or a local farm.

With small profit margins already, the cost of losing sheep or setting up deterrents such as electric fencing aren’t feasible for Bacon or others.

READ MORE: Metchosin farmers lose sheep to bear attacks

It’s a problem that’s left Metchosin Mayor John Ranns frustrated. He sent a letter to B.C. Conservation in mid-July and has spoken with the department, trying to address the way officers have been dealing with the growing bear population.

“I was given reassurance that if there was a kill, an officer would be alerted in time to have dogs sent out and track down the bear,” he said.

But several kills later, including three losses at Parry Bay Sheep Farm, one at Stillmeadow Farm in late July and Bacon’s latest loss, Ranns had yet to hear of officers dispatched with dogs.

Bacon and Ranns believe it is one bear wreaking havoc on local flocks. “This bear has already proved that it’s not scared of people, which makes this a public threat,” Ranns said. “This bear should’ve been taken care of weeks ago.”

B.C. Conservation did not respond to requests for comment by the Gazette’s press deadline.

ALSO READ: Bear attacks Rottweiler near Matheson Lake in Metchosin


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@ goldstreamgazette.com

bearsDistrict of Metchosin

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

Just Posted

Langford racing enthusiast back in driver’s seat of life after surviving aggressive cancer

70-year-old David Smith finishes mid-pack in Canada 200 race at Western Speedway

New nurse practitioner-led medical clinic welcomes Victoria patients

Health Care on Yates expects to serve 6,800 new patients over the next three years

Central Saanich needs at least more than 500 additional daycare spaces

Report before Central Saanich says region faces a ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Metchosin inmate sentenced to 12 months in jail for escaping custody

Sentence to be served concurrent to a life sentence he was already serving

Sooke jumps on board to ban use of rat poison

City staff will educate residents on harmful effects of rodenticides

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

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

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

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

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read