End of the road for highway grizzlies

In a development that was as inevitable as it was unfortunate, Conservation Officers and the RCMP last week put down the pair of grizzlies that had become a regular sight for those travelling Highway 37 South.

In a development that was as inevitable as it was unfortunate, Conservation Officers and the RCMP last week put down the pair of grizzlies that had become a regular sight for those travelling Highway 37 South.

For weeks now the pair, both young bears, had been frequenting the area just south of the Kitimat River bridge, oblivious to the passing traffic and those vehicles stopping so people could take pictures of the bears.

Predictably, when the first campers of the season showed up at the Kitimat River bridge camping area they soon found they had a couple of unwelcome visitors.

The photo at right was taken by a camper on the May long weekend. He reported that the bears showed absolutely no fear of humans and didn’t even flinch when air horns were used.

In a release last Friday, Kitimat RCMP Constable Penney said numerous complaints had been received about the bears being in the campgrounds, trying to open coolers and approaching people.

There had also been problems caused by motorists stopping on the highway to take pictures.

Then at some point within the previous week one of the bears had been hit by a vehicle and “sustained a serious injury to one of its front legs.”

Penney said that since both bears were young and “were already showing signs of habituation due to the public interaction”, they were euthanised.