Seventeen people have lost their lives in a bear attack in B.C. since 1986, according to statistics from the environment ministry.
One of those deaths was in the last three years.
Outside of the province, bears have killed 25 humans in the United States and Canada between 1997 and 2017, according to wideopenspaces.com.
These statistics come as the B.C. Conservation Officer Service announced it has recorded a record number of bear conflict reports made by residents to the provincial RAPP line.
More than 3,800 calls have been placed to B.C.’s RAPP line for black bear conflicts since April. That’s compared to the seasonal average of 2,400. A further 180 calls were for grizzly bear conflicts.
Bears have injured a total of 222 people across B.C. between 1986 and 2018 with 50 recorded injuries between 2016 and 2018.
The number of complaints about bears, meanwhile, have gone up significantly.
Consider the average annual of complaints about black bears. Between 1992 and 1996, it was 8,280. Between 1997 and 2001, it rose to 9,017. Between 2002 and 2006, it rose to 11,785.
Between 2007 and 2011, it rose to 18,824. It has since dropped slightly, but it remains at a high level. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of complaints stood at 17,763. Between 2017 and 2018, it stood at 17,742.
Not surprisingly, the number of black bears killed through enforcement actions has gone up. Between 2007 and 2011, the average number of black bears killed stood 479. It rose to 525 between 2012 and 2016, and stood at 503 for the period 2017 to 2018.
With files from Ashley Wadhwani