Are there grizzly bears on Cormorant Island?
Yes. Two male grizzly bears were initially spotted on Friday (September 16) evening in Sandyville. The bears have been seen several times since then.
Where are the bears?
The bears have primarily been observed in the central portion of the island: the Ecological Park (Gator Gardens), Alert Bay Campground, Atli Street, and Gatu Street.
Why are the bears here?
BC Conservation biologists suggest that the bears have been displaced from their home territory by a dominant male grizzly bear. They are wandering in an attempt to establish territory for themselves.
What is being done about it?
BC Conservation officers have been on-island since Saturday morning to monitor the bears and attempt to trap them. If the bears are trapped then the primary goal will be to relocate them to a place that is safe for grizzly bears. Ideally, the bears will leave the island on their own.
Why haven’t the bears been tranquilized?
Tranquilizer darts have short-range accuracy and may not initially pierce the bears’ hide. It takes two to three minutes for tranquilizers to take effect, during which time the bears may become aggressive. In order to use tranquilizers effectively, the bears must be far away from people in an environment where BC Conservation officers can maintain reasonable control of the situation.
Will the bears be killed?
The goal of BC Conservation, RCMP, ‘Namgis First Nation, and the Corporation of the Village of Alert Bay is to see the bears safely relocated.
What can the public do to help?
Do not seek out or attempt to interact with the bears. Pick all fruit that might be growing on trees in your yard and remove
other attractants (garbage, fishing gear, etc.) from the outside of your home. If you are walking or working outside your home, make lots of noise so that the bears stay away. Students should not travel to and from school alone. Do not use the walking trails until the bears have left the island.
CONTACT BC CONSERVATION IF YOU SEE THE BEARS: 1-877-952-7277