Black bear found rummaging through garbage at a North Vancouver elementary school

A black bear was found wandering through a North Vancouver neighbourhood Thursday morning looking for garbage as kids made their way to school.

North Vancouver RCMP say the bear was discovered on the grounds of Carisbrooke Elementary School going through the garbage at about 7:50 a.m., before making its way on to the front lawn of a nearby home.

It is garbage day in the neighbourhood and police say that’s what likely drew the bear out of the forest, looking for food.

“The bear appeared to be young but not aggressive or afraid of humans,” Sgt. Peter DeVries told CTV News.

Four officers attended the scene and managed to chase the bear back into the forest before animal protection arrived. “No one was at risk,” said DeVries, who pointed out that school wasn’t in session yet during the bear encounter. He said he was unaware of any confrontations between people and the bear. Mounties were on scene for about an hour.

They want to remind people to abide by district garbage rules when putting out their bins.

“It’s the time of the year that bears are bulking up to prepare for hibernation,” said DeVries, who warned homeowners to be extra vigilant to seal their garbage properly.

This black bear was unharmed but new B.C. statistics, posted Wednesday, show that’s often not the case when nature mixes with humans.

The stats show dozens of black bears were killed in the province last month by conservation officers after what officials say was a busy time with thousands of calls.

Conservation tells CTV News that one of the primary reasons a bear may be killed by officers when it’s involved in a conflict with humans is if it has been food conditioned.