A large black bear is believed to be responsible for killing several sheep in Metchosin. One of Bev Bacon’s lambs were killed over the B.C. Day long weekend. The bear was caught on a wildlife camera returning to the carcass. (Gary Schroyen photo)

Frustration mounts as Metchosin sheep slaughter continues

Metchosin mayor upset with B.C. Conservation’s response as bear feeds on farm animals

Bev Bacon’s B.C. Day long weekend was off to a fine start until she found out one of her sheep had been killed by a bear in a pasture near her Metchosin property.

She arrived to find the lamb with fatal bite marks and immediately called the B.C. Conservation Officer Service in hopes of having them track the bear down with dogs or set up a bear trap – but to no avail.

“We missed a perfect opportunity to get this bear because of the holiday weekend,” said Bacon in an email sent to conservation officers.

“The problem as I see it with our present system is that your department is understaffed and spread too thinly. It is perfectly reasonable that your priority has to be where carnivores are a threat to people.”

But with livestock left to protect, Bacon proposed a collective of sheep farmers buy their own live trap and store it at the municipal yard or a local farm.

With small profit margins already, the cost of losing sheep or setting up deterrents such as electric fencing aren’t feasible for Bacon or others.

READ MORE: Metchosin farmers lose sheep to bear attacks

It’s a problem that’s left Metchosin Mayor John Ranns frustrated. He sent a letter to B.C. Conservation in mid-July and has spoken with the department, trying to address the way officers have been dealing with the growing bear population.

“I was given reassurance that if there was a kill, an officer would be alerted in time to have dogs sent out and track down the bear,” he said.

But several kills later, including three losses at Parry Bay Sheep Farm, one at Stillmeadow Farm in late July and Bacon’s latest loss, Ranns had yet to hear of officers dispatched with dogs.

Bacon and Ranns believe it is one bear wreaking havoc on local flocks. “This bear has already proved that it’s not scared of people, which makes this a public threat,” Ranns said. “This bear should’ve been taken care of weeks ago.”

B.C. Conservation did not respond to requests for comment by the time of this posting.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

ALSO READ: Vancouver Island farm using donkeys to protect sheep from bears, dogs


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@ goldstreamgazette.com

bearsDistrict of Metchosin

Just Posted

Advocates for the homeless prepare for winter in a pandemic

Winter presents unique challenges to people experiencing homelessness this year in Campbell River

Stress weighs heavy on those working in veterinary health

Vancouver Island vet techs urge public to be patient, kind

GERDING: Forest industry facing tough times

Upcoming protests seeks change in how B.C.’s forests are harvested

Decision on judicial review of Cowichan Motorsport decision could take months

VIMC said it was assured by North Cowichan that expansion would be allowed

Nanaimo resident wins human rights tribunal case over wheelchair accessibility at condo complex

Tribunal awards $35,000, says concerns weren’t addressed until human rights complaint had been lodged

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

Work set to start this month on two new Langford schools

Farmer Construction Ltd. will utilize SD62 students to work on the $55.2 million project

Industry running in new direction, says Vancouver Island run director

Popular Sidney by the Sea Run/Walk goes virtual

Nanaimo’s Cinefest film festival to be held online this year due to COVID-19

CineCentral Filmmakers Society’s annual festival to feature films made in 48 hours

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Another Sayward councillor resigns ahead of November byelection

Council will be able to maintain quorum until byelection is held, says Municipal Affairs

Remote B.C. tourism lodge staffed for coastal clean up instead of wilderness tours

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to exotic wildlife — and international trash

Most Read