Black bear spotted at busy Metro Vancouver park killed by conservation officers

A black bear that was caught on camera chasing geese at a busy Metro Vancouver park over the weekend was killed by conservation officers.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the BC Conservation Officer Service confirmed that the agency was called to Burnaby's Central Park on Saturday afternoon. The same day, videos posted online showed a bear on the pitch and putt course and later wandering along a walking and cycling trail near the SkyTrain tracks – in both instances coming within metres of park goers.

The bear was first tranquilized, according to an emailed statement form the province.

"After assessment, the bear was put down due to his behaviour compromising public safety," it reads, adding that the process includes considering the risk to people as well as the animal's chance at survival in the wild.

"Putting down any bear or cub is an unfortunate outcome that we work so hard to prevent … Bears that are conditioned to humans or conditioned to non-natural food sources are not candidates for relocation or rehabilitation."

The service is reminding people to minimize the potential for encounters with bears by securing attractants like garbage, pet food and bird seed.

Two weeks ago, a black bear was spotted by residents of a neighbourhood on the Vancouver-Burnaby border. Police were called to the scene, where they shot and killed the animal.

Advocates say the colder-than-average spring weather has reduced the salmonberry crop this year, prompting more black bears to enter residential neighbourhoods looking for food.

The most recent data from the province on reports of black bear encounters is from April of this year. There were 935 calls received, 133 reports investigated, and 23 bears destroyed by the BC Conservation Officer Service. Those are the highest numbers recorded in the publicly available data, which dates back to 2011.