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Black bear in British Columbia stealing animals from nearby farms

Black bear in British Columbia stealing animals from nearby farms

One farmer estimates the bear has taken about 20 animals

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

A black bear is killing farm animals in the British Columbia community of Metchosin, about 30 minutes from Victoria.

Tom Henry, a hog and sheep farmer, estimates the intruder has taken about 20 animals from nearby farms this summer.

“He’s a serial ewe killer and that’s really a problem for us,” Henry told CBC. He found one of his ewes dead in the woods and his flocks have been huddling in tight knots.

Officials with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service believe the bear is the same one that killed a number of sheep in the area in 2016.

The bear attacks at night and only eats some of its prey before changing locations, according to CBC.

“The way (the bear is) all over the place, he’s quite likely got some in(to) other fields that we just don’t know about,” John Buchanan from Parry Bay Sheep Farm, told the Times Colonist.

“I think he’s a very smart bear,” Scott Norris, a sergeant with the conservation office, told CBC. “He’s still showing signs of a very wild bear. He’s not wanting to be seen by people, he’s not coming out in the daytime.”

Area farmers are concerned about the safety of their animals but also about the impact the attacks can have on their bottom lines.

They’re particularly concerned now because the animals are breeding.

When the bear “kills (an ewe), he’s killing effectively two lambs for next year,” Henry told CBC. “And he cannot be tracked because he gorges and moves on.”

Keeping livestock indoors at night, installing electric fencing and refraining from burying carcasses are ways to prevent bear activity, according to Wild Safe BC.

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