A mother black bear was illegally shot in a Keremeos vineyard between the evening of Sept. 30 and the morning of Oct. 1. Authorities are seeking any information related to this event, and B.C. Wildlife Federation is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for info that leads to a conviction. (Photo from Unsplash)

Mother bear found dead from gunshot wounds near Keremeos vineyard

B.C. Wildlife Federation offers up to $2,000 reward for info leading to a conviction

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is investigating the shooting of a mother black bear in a Keremeos vineyard easier this week.

Conservation officer Clayton DeBruin said the sow is believed to have been shot between the evening of Sept. 30 and the morning of Oct. 1. DeBruin said investigators are still working to determine whether the bear was killed in the 700 block of Bypass Road or another location.

“She was a black bear, a light-coloured phased one, that was known to us and known to the community for many months since living in this area. She was shot and killed and basically left to waste,” said DeBruin. “She had two cubs this year and they’re roughly seven or eight months old now.”

DeBruin said there is “no open season for mother bears or a bear in its company, or bears under 2 years of age” and the culprit could be charged with hunting wildlife out of season.

READ MORE: Black bear kills donkey in Revelstoke, put down by RCMP

“Bear cubs normally spend about 18 months with mom, so the likelihood of their survival is not as good as if they’d have their mom to show them where to find food throughout the seasons of the year and how to choose an appropriate den site through the winter,” he said.

“They may survive but it’s obviously not ideal.”

DeBruin said he couldn’t speak to whether the sow was causing problems in the community – such as rummaging through garbage, but did note that the cubs don’t appear to be dependent on human food or waste.

He said conservation officers in the area are currently trying to trap the cubs in order to relocate them to a rescue facility for the winter, but so far have been unsuccessful.

“Because they are at-risk, ideally they could be caught and sent to an orphaned bear rearing facility where they would be held throughout the winter and fed to the appropriate weight, then released into the wild in the spring,” he said.

“We have a rehab facility in the north Interior that is willing to take them. We are actively trying to trap them, however, because they are not food-conditioned or garbage-conditioned, they are much harder to capture in a trap than a bear that is used to walking into human habituated areas, seeking out smelly food.

“These are just normal bears, so we’re still waiting to capture them since they’ve been sighted in the area after the mother was brought to our attention.”

In addition to hunting out of season, the person behind the bear’s death could also be charged with ailure to retrieve game under the Wildlife Act.

These offences are ticket-able, but DeBruin said depending on the circumstance, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service can take the individual to court to request a higher fine.

READ MORE: ‘Garbage-fed bears are dead bears’ – Penticton conservation officer

The B.C. Wildlife Federation has offered up to a $2,000 reward for any information leading to the conviction of these types of offences. DeBruin said the best way to reach out is to call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

Anyone with information can choose to remain anonymous.

“We’re hopeful we will track down those responsible. The Bypass Road is a well-travelled road and it’s likely that somebody may have been travelling by at the time of the offence and may have seen something or noticed something out of place, like a vehicle or person,” he added.

“Or maybe they noticed the mother bear lying in the vineyard and can give us additional information on that. Any little tip can help us.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Health and safety regulations to be followed by schools as they reopen Monday

Ministry of Education wrote a letter to parents dated May 28.

Wear a mask to protect others, says Vanderhoof’s top doctor

“I think wearing a mask is a small inconvenience when weighed against the possibility of giving vulnerable members of our community an infection that could kill them,” the doctor said.

Here is what school will look like for FLESS students

Students are going back to school on June 1 on a voluntary, part-time basis.

7 projects in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Burns Lake receive NKDF funding

Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society announced $139,702 in funding on May 29.

School buses for SD91 to start running from June 1

Parents urged to drop off and pick kids up whenever possible.

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read