Golden Ears Provincial Park is closed to all visitors because of a problematic black bear.
A closure notice was posted to the BC Parks website on Monday, June 13, saying that BC Parks and the Conservation Officer Service have been working together over the past several weeks to manage the bear in the Maple Ridge park that, they say, has become habituated.
“The bear has been getting into attractants within the campground, as well as accessing numerous vehicles in the area to gain garbage and food,” said the notice.
In one instance the bear even attempted to walk through an open trailer door while people were inside.
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy spokesperson David Karn said park staff and conservation were moving campers out of the park, with a goal of having everybody out by 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14.
Last week BC Parks closed Gold Creek Campground to allow conservation officers to place a trap for the bear. However, they were unable to capture the bear.
Karn explained the bear just moved on to another area of the park.
“He just follows the food,” the spokesperson said.
“He appears to be very food conditioned,” said Karn of the bear, especially, he said, when the bear has been entering people’s tents and vehicles.
“It is just the one bear that seems to be the trouble maker,” Karn added.
Stu Burgess, park operations manager since 2008, said he was unaware of a situation like this ever unfolding in the park before.
“This has never happened before to the best of my knowledge,” he said.
Now the park will be closed until 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, out of concern for public safety and to allow conservation to devote all their resources to trapping the bear
“BC Parks and Conservation Officers cannot stress enough the importance of securing attractants. It is the single best way to keep the public, and bears, safe,” the notice continued.
It is unclear whether the bear is going to be relocated.
For more safety tips and ways to prevent bear conflicts, visit BC Parks Staying Safe in Bear Country or WildSafeBC.
• The News has reached out to the Conservation Officer Services Fraser North Zone and the operations manager of Golden Ears Provincial Park and will update the story as more details become available.
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