A group of bears have eaten their way into a home near Hope, leaving no choice for conservation officers but to kill them.
Up to five bears were reportedly being fed regularly by a homeowner in the tiny community of Sunshine Valley. This was despite warnings from officials and from neighbours, and for an unknown length of time.
And this week, with the homeowner absent and their food source dried up, the habituated bears decided to take matters into their own paws. The bruins reportedly scratched and tore their way into the cabin, and thrashed the inside in search of food.
They made their way in, destroying the siding and doors of the home, and found the kitchen and fed themselves.
By Friday (July 26) at least two of the bears had been caught in traps set by conservation officers, and put down. Bears that have become accustomed to humans are not suitable for relocation, as they will constantly seek out easier food sources.
Several Sunshinve Valley residents who are upset by the sequence of events have contacted The Standard with photographs of the bears, one before it was killed and one afterward, along with photos of the destruction of the house in question.
The community is a small tight-knit one outside between Hope and Manning Park on Hwy. 3. The house is now considered a tear-down by residents, with wiring destroyed and wires hanging down in the area.
One bear was also found in a neighbouring cabin and had to be shot. One resident noted that the bears have been living in the area for some time without conflict.
Watch for an update on this story in the Aug. 1 edition of The Hope Standard, and online.