Days are numbered for a burly, cinnamon coloured black bear that broke into a house in Sun Peaks last weekend. A bear trap has been set up to catch the habituated bear and protect residents.
Burfield Drive resident Kona Van Diest was awakened by noise outside her kitchen window at around 1 a.m. Monday. She went to her kitchen to investigate and saw a silhouette of what she thought was a man trying to get in through her kitchen window.
Van Diest quickly realized it wasn’t a man but a large black bear.
“I heard some banging outside my kitchen window,” said Van Diest. “I got up and at that point, the bear was ripping the screen off the window. The window was one inch open and the bear promptly opened the window.”
“It looked in and pulled itself through the window into my kitchen,” she continued. “I ran out and closed the door from the outside.” The only thing that Van Diest thinks may have prompted the bear to enter the house was a small bag of garbage under the closed kitchen sink cupboards, no different than in most residences at any given time. The kitchen was clean with no open food anywhere.
The bear looked around the kitchen for a few minutes and after not finding anything of interest and being aggressively yelled at by Van Diest, jumped out of the house through the same window. Van Diest locked her kitchen window after the bear exited the house and promptly called a neighbour for help. It came back a few minutes later trying to get in again.
Van Diest’s neighbour tried to scare the bear away by sounding a truck horn and vehicle alarm but the bear just ignored the noise. After two more unsuccessful attempts to re-enter the house the bear left.
Conservation officer Mitch Kendall and Bear Aware community coordinator officer Katelyn Leitch came to Sun Peaks Tuesday afternoon (May 10) to set up a bear trap.
“When it’s showing excessive signs of habituation and it’s entering residences, then we need to remove it from the population,” said Mitch Kendall, a conservation officer from Kamloops.
Kendall said a recent change in the Wildlife Act gives conservation officers authority to penalize anyone immediately if a person is being extremely negligent about leaving attractants out in the property.
“If the attractants are so visible and it appears there’s disregard for human safety by virtue of leaving (attractants) out, then they will be charged immediately.”
To report any concern about wildlife, contact the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line at 1-877-952-7277.