September 1, 2010 Vancouver, Canada – Two dozen bears that were rounded up last month from an illegal marijuana site will finally be spared. These bears were encountered by the police last month at Christina Lake in a remote part of British Columbia.
Following an online public campaign, the officials of Canada’s westernmost province made the discharge order for the bears. They said that the bears were fed with dog food to keep them nearby, thus preventing drug thieves.
The property owner who used the bears is still under investigation and he could still face charges. According to Environment Minister Barry Penner, the property owner had been ordered to continue feeding the bears until mid-November when they will start hibernating. Weaning the bears is a better solution than killing them according to Penner.
In the past three years, 1,264 black bears were killed because of bear-human conflicts in British Columbia. As many as 160,000 black bears live in British Columbia, which is equal to a quarter of Canada’s population.