Vancouver Island woman charged after bear trap tampered with

“Significantly habituated” bear was never caught

A Shawnigan Lake woman is facing charges after a bear trap was tampered with. (Submitted)

A Shawnigan Lake woman is facing charges after a bear trap belonging to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service was tampered with.

According to a social media post by the BCCOS, the trap was set in the Shawnigan Lake area in August after a bear became “significantly habituated” to humans, creating an ongoing public safety risk. The BCCOS added that public education and enforcement efforts failed to improve the situation.

Soon after the trap was in place, the BCCOS received reports that it had been tampered with and no longer functioned. Signage was posted on the trap, and a subsequent investigation led to the identification of the resident, who was charged. The bear was never captured.

“The COS wants to stress that interfering or tampering with lawfully set traps is illegal and dangerous for both the public and the offender,” the social media post stated. “The trap can injure an untrained person and a conflict animal can remain at large, exacerbating the public safety risk.

“The COS recommends instead that citizens concerned for the safety of wildlife put their efforts into managing attractants and reducing the causes of human-wildlife conflict to prevent them from occurring in the first place.”

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