Conservation officers shoot bear in Surrey, Mounties arrest man

Bear had been wandering around in Guildford and Tynehead, also through schoolyards

The shooting of a black bear in Surrey by conservation officers has people riled.

One guy even got arrested for allegedly obstructing a peace officer.

But from the officers’ perspective, the bruin had to be killed.

Inspector Murray Smith, of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, said the “sub-adult” bear had been wandering around in Guildford and Tynehead for about four days, passing through the school grounds at Harold Bishop Elementary school and Fraser Heights Secondary School.

“There was kids in the school at the time, and the principal had to hold the kids in the school,” he said. “It killed chickens. It got into the Toyota dealer’s commercial garbage. Everything got worse and worse and worse.”

The conservation service received 21 reports of the bear and set traps as it started moving toward Guildford Town Centre, making its way through backyards.

Surrey Mounties spotted it and put their sirens on. “The bear just kind of looked at them, it didn’t run away. And then the bear mosied right into a group of people, and scattered them, so the thing is the bear had lost its fear of people.”

“It’s really unfortunate,” he said, of having to put the bear down. “None of the officers get into this to destroy wildlife.

“Public safety is our priority.”

The bear was shot Monday night at a ravine near 160th Street and 104th Avenue, Smith said.

READ ALSO: Black bear spotted in Surrey neighbourhood

Holly Dampier-Piwowarski told the Now-Leader she was “not impressed at all.”

“Where is the respect for our animal kingdom?”

She said the “harmless” bear was “right behind my house” and “didn’t harm my family at all.

“Maybe our conservation officers could have taken the time to put the bear to sleep and move it to a location.”

Smith said this was the first confirmed bear sighting in Surrey since 2013. He said it’s believed this particular bear swam across the Fraser River from Coquitlam or Port Coquitlam, where there are on average 2,000 bear sightings reported each year.

Surrey RCMP Corporal Elenore Sturko said Mounties “did assist conservation. One individual was arrrested for obstructing and they were arrested and released and the investigation is ongoing.”

She said a man, whom she did not name, was arrested for allegedly “interfering with the conservation officer in the lawful execution of their duties.”

No charge has been laid.

Chris Strotmann, who lives near 157th Street and 105th Avenue, told the Now-Leader he was arrested.

“They screwed it up even worse by arresting me and the bear got away again,” he said. “It happened close to my yard and on my property.”

“She came down the road and there she pulls out a gun and she’s going to try to shoot him right there and there’s people around, children around, and she’s yelling at me to get my dog away from the bear,” he said. “Now, I run over there to protect my livestock and get the bear out, whatever, follow it, get it out, or whatever.

“Finally it was shot on my property. I was in the back of the car at that time, again, that’s when they brutally arrested me, threw me down on the ground, threw the handcuffs on me, punched me in the gut, threw me in the car,” he said, “and then they went back and shot the bear.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey Community Leader Awards winners revealed

The 16th CLA awards, presented by the Now-Leader, recognized Surrey’s un-sung heroes

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

MPs meet with Surrey council to discuss RCMP, LRT

Federal government to have quarterly meetings with Surrey

Hogg curious if a new recreation centre is needed in Grandview Heights

South Surrey-White Rock MP to host a Town Hall Meeting tonight

Surrey building that has gathered dust for 20 years is for sale again, with bids sought

Potential sale of the long-vacant 104 Avenue Centre is good news, Surrey Board of Trade CEO says

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Regulatory confusion over ‘toxic’ stink near Abbotsford school

Officials sniffing out which regulators responsible for enforcing compliance at neighbouring property

Most Read