HUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. — Two live bear traps have been set up in Hudson’s Hope due to the animals being attracted to apples and berries in the district.
The goal of the BC Conversation Officer Service is to remove bears from the area due to the animals being a public safety issue.
Brad Lacey, a BC conservation officer in the South Peace, said bears being attracted to the fruit turns the situation into an attractant management matter, leading to them setting the live traps.
The main attractant for bears in Hudson’s Hope, according to Lacey, is apples, whether they are at residential properties or naturally occurring within the community.
Bears will also go after berry bushes, such as saskatoons, which would be naturally occurring food sources.
“[The traps] are baited to be an attractant to a bear, and when you’re trying to compete with the apple tree, it’s tough because a bear knows they can get the seed out of the apple tree,” Lacey said.
“The trap itself is an anomaly, it’s a different thing, so it’ll have typically sweet odours, something that causes curiosity.”
The traps are being monitored, and the BC Conservation Officer Service will be notified when they need to recover a bear.
“Especially with the temperatures, we’re really cognizant about the time that bears would be inside the trap. We usually set them in shaded areas, cooler areas versus out where it’s really hot,” Lacey explained.
The conservation officer said the traps are set for a reason and wanted to remind residents to leave them alone and not approach the traps.
“Everyone plays a part in public safety,” Lacey said.
In 2020, a Shawnigan Lake woman was charged with tampering with a bear trap, leading to a fine of $345 for interfering with a lawfully set trap.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said ideally, bears that have been caught will be relocated, although bears that pose a safety threat may be put down.