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by Adrian Barnes on Monday May 13 2013
Three grizzly bears destroyed near Castlegar
Three grizzly bears had to be destroyed and a fourth relocated in a five-day time-frame last week, according to CBC's Kootenay reporter, Bob Keating.
Keating, who broke the story today (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/05/10/bc-grizzlies-kootenay-sheep-kill.html), said he was alerted to the issue by conservation officer supervisor Sgt. Arnold DeBoon.
"He (DeBoon) wants people to know what what happened here and why," Keating, adding the three bears ate eight sheep from a farm near Edgewood, just north of Castlegar.
"DeBoon said that once bears get a taste for livestock, it's all over. They have to be put down, or they'll keep seeking out more."
Keating said the owner of the sheep relocated her herd to the other side of Arrow Lake, only to have a ninth sheep hunted and killed by a cougar.
Meanwhile, Keating said, a fourth grizzly chased an ostrich (on a different farm) until the ostrich panicked, hit something and died ... but because the bear did not feed on the massive bird, conservation officers were able to capture and relocate the bear to the Granby Wilderness area near Grand Forks.
Keating said DeBoon credited the cluster of human/bear-conflict issues with the animals leaving hibernation early, thus entering a spring with little naturally-available food.
"They've just come out of hibernation, they're starving, and livestock don't fight back," said Keating. "It's an easy meal."