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Cull declared for bear-besieged town

Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Conservation officials in a south-central British Columbia town have announced a kill order for several black bears whose hunger has driven them to scavenging.

As many as 11 bears, including at least six cubs, have been reported foraging in an Indian reservation near Kamloops and show no fear of humans, The (Kamloops) Daily News reported.

Provincial conservation official Darcy MacPhee told the newspaper the decision to kill at least three bears was made reluctantly.

"In a perfect world we'd prefer not to kill any, but this isn't a perfect world," he said. "Some will definitely have to be euthanized."

Conservation officials and a wildlife biologist began laying traps around the reservation Tuesday and said plans were to sedate and relocate the bears.

In recent days, residents have reported bears prowling outside a daycare center and in residential backyards, the newspaper said.

Canada's hot and dry summer weather played a major role in the bear problem because berries and other foliage bears eat were decimated, MacPhee said.

"Instead of having nine bears spread over a very large area, they are in a very confined area," he said. "It's a significant public safety risk."

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