Mali the grizzly bear was relocated to a remote mainland habitat days before it was shot dead. (Facebook/Grizzly Bear Foundation)

Grizzly bear relocated from small island off B.C. coast shot dead in self-defence

Mali, the bear rescued in historic joint efforts, was shot dead in an act of self-defence

A grizzly bear that was relocated just a couple weeks ago after it showed up on a small island off the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island has been shot dead in an apparent act of self-defence.

The bear, Mali, was relocated to mainland B.C. after it showed up on Hanson Island.

B.C. Conservation Officer Service confirmed that the incident took place on the evening of April 20. Investigation into the circumstance concluded the shooting was in self defence and no charges were laid .

Mali was identified by the ear tags that were placed on him during the relocation operation when he was moved to a remote area on B.C.’s mainland.

In a statement, the Conservation Officers Services said that the bear was killed more than 30 kilometres away from the isolated area where it was released.

The grizzly bear made headlines earlier in April due to the historical nature of joint efforts in its relocation operation. Several groups including conservation officers, First Nations and the Grizzly Bear Foundation came together to relocate Mali.

READ MORE: Young grizzly bear saved by the joint efforts of First Nations and conservation officers on Hanson Island

Nicholas Scapillati, executive director of Grizzly Bear Foundation, said that although the bear was successfully relocated, there was no means to trace its movements and it must have wandered off again into a residential area in search of food or a new habitat.

“Unfortunately Mali wasn’t collared when he was relocated since everything happened very rapidly back then,” Scapillati said.

Mali had previously swum to Hanson Island in search of food.

“Grizzly bears are moving across the Island and we need to put some science behind this issue and find out why they are moving,” said Scapillati.

He said when most people spot a bear in a residential area, they panic and resort to guns which often results in the bear’s death.

Conservation officials throughout the region have been advising on the use of bear spray as the “most effective tool” and a “safer option for both citizens and bears.”

Scapillati stressed on increasing awareness through educative campaigns about bear sprays and attractants so that humans and bears can live in peaceful coexistence in the future.

“Mali’s situation could have been very different,” he added.

However, the joint conservation efforts that took place in relocating Mali earlier was a positive development in conservation efforts, setting precedent for more such rescue and relocation operations.

“Sad things can happen in conservation sometimes, but you learn a lot and know that more grizzly bears need to be protected.”

The conservation officers will give Mali’s body to the First Nations who will hold a small burial ceremony for the bear.

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island’s bear patrol is watching your garbage

bearsConservationEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Council votes to pen letter to fisheries minister asking for earlier Chinook opening date

The DFO is set to reassess Chinook fishing ban in Skeena River on July 15

Native Women’s Association calls for police reform in wake of recent Indigenous deaths

Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi both recently died following interactions with police

Town pushes forward with Active Transportation Plan, postpones Third Street bike lane

The Strategic Priority Committee made a number of recommendations at their June 2 meeting

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Most Read