An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

  • Sep. 21, 2018 1:30 a.m.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation (CCN) Chief Corrina Leween and senior policy advisor Mike Robertson came across an unexpected sight this week while touring wildfire-affected areas south of Burns Lake. 

From their helicopter they spotted a black bear eating another bear’s carcass on the north shore of Cheslatta Lake.

“We all thought they were dead and circled back to investigate,” described Robertson. “When the helicopter got closer, we discovered a huge black bear on top of a brown bear.”

“The big black bear got up and walked about 10 yards, quickly turned around and in a very aggressive and threatening manner started clicking his teeth,” he continued. “The bear took a step or two towards us, even though we were 100 feet high in a whirling helicopter.”

“It sent chills through my bones.”

Robertson said the bear ran away when the helicopter circled the area again, but that it eventually went back to his meal.

Although Robertson did not see whether the bear actually killed the other, this would not unusual behaviour for bears, according to Sergeant Kevin Nixon with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

“Grizzly bears for starters will kill a black bear any opportunity they get and they’ll consume it,” he told Black Press Media. “For a large male black bear to kill another black bear, especially a younger male, he’ll go out of his way to do that.

“They’ll do that for breeding purposes, to remove competition, and once it’s dead they’ll consume it.”

When asked if bears in the Burns Lake area have been affected by the region’s wildfires, Nixon said “definitely.”

“Bears are very territorial, and the fact they have been displaced by the fires means that they have to establish a new territory,” he explained. “As soon as they have to establish a new territory they have to compete with bears that were already in that territory, and that’s when fights are going to occur.”

Nixon added that this is the time of year when bears are feeding 18 hours a day, trying to get their last-minute calories before they go into hibernation.

“There’s only so many food sources available, so they’re gonna turn to whatever food sources they can find, and the unfortunate reality in this area is that bears are finding pet food, apple trees and all kinds of different things that are not considered normal bear behaviour.”

READ MORE: “Unusual” bear attack south of Burns Lake


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

COVID-19 isn’t cancelling this year’s Tour de Rock

Alumni riders will cycle relay sections in their own communities

POLL: Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?

Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?… Continue reading

Trail proposed to connect Cedar and Yellow Point

Regional director says project fits with active transportation goals

Woodgrove Centre posts plans to make masks and temperature checks mandatory

Mall advises in letter to customers that rules will come into effect Monday, Sept. 21

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting out garbage bins the night before pickup

Conservation officers say they issued seven tickets this week, as warnings weren’t having an impact

Accused in Makayla Chang’s murder sees next court date in October

Steven Michael Bacon faces first-degree murder charge in killing of Nanaimo teen

Regional District of Nanaimo looks to create its own flag

Staff created makeshift flag earlier this year for a conference that ended up getting cancelled

Nanaimo senior defrauded out of $14,000 in ‘grandson scam’

80-year-old victim was told her grandson was out-of-province and in legal trouble

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

One person dead in two-vehicle accident in North Island

Highway 19A was closed for several hours north of Courtenay following the crash

Most Read