THE NEWS/files Maple Ridge has more wildlife conflicts than most B.C. cities, says conservation officer.

Police shoot injured bear

Struck by vehicle in Albion suburb of Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP put down a young bear for humane reasons, after it was hit by an SUV in Maple Ridge, Wednesday.

Conservation Officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said his staff did not respond to the call, because RCMP were on the scene at 102nd Avenue and 244th Street, near Albion Park. The animal was suffering.

“They had the capability, and for humane reasons they did not wait for us,” he said.

Conservation officers are busy, and this was their 10th bear call of the day in the North Fraser Zone. The zone covers all of the Tri-Cities area, and includes Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

Since April 1 to Wednesday, the area has generated 1,515 wildlife conflicts, of which 1,332 involve black bears, said Hunter.

For comparison, the south side of the Fraser River generates far fewer conflicts at 500 calls, for an area stretching from Surrey to Hope. The Kamloops office had just 256 calls.

“Our office jumps off the page,” said Hunter.

Breaking down the 1,515 calls in the North Fraser Zone, he said 358 were from Maple Ridge, and 303 involved black bears. There were 33 complaints, 22 involving bears, in Pitt Meadows.

READ ALSO: Hungry bear takes snack from Maple Ridge kitchen

Of the non-bear calls in the zone, 56 were about cougars, 42 coyotes and 48 deer. Many of the deer reports are about deer being injured by vehicles, explained Hunter.

He wants people to be aware of the high number of wildlife conflicts in this area, to drive rural roads carefully, and not to allow their properties to attract bears.

Backyard chickens, he said, often lead to wildlife conflicts.

“We’re still seeing issues of people leaving their garbage out, so we’ve got to get everybody on board,” said Hunter.

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