A longtime resident of Thetis Island said he’s never seen a bear on the island. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dead black bear washes up on Thetis Island

Conservation officer determines it had been in the ocean for a long time

A dead black bear has mysteriously turned up on Thetis Island.

Chris, a longtime resident who asked that his last name not be used, was mystified by the find Monday morning in Preedy Harbour.

“We don’t have any bears on Thetis Island to our knowledge,” he said. “No bears here, cougars sometimes. It’s actually quite high on the beach.”

A colleague contacted the BC Conservation Officer Service. The immediate concern was whether the bear had been killed by a hunter or died of natural causes.

Andrew Riddell of the BC Conservation Officer Service confirmed the latter after reviewing a photo and videos of the bear taken by Chris.

“It looks like that bear’s been in the ocean for a long time, based on how the hide’s been washed off,” said Riddell.

“Currents could have brought it from anywhere for it to wash up on Thetis Island.”

He determined it’s a big male and not a cub, and “anything could have killed it.”

Some of the decomposition seen could have resulted from predators in the ocean and the weather.

The bear remains on the beach and Riddell said no investigation will be necessary to determine how it died. Being on an island presents some challenges for disposal, but somebody will have to be found on Thetis for that task, he added, and information has been passed along to the Duncan Conservation office.

The beached carcass has a nasty odour and Chris reported birds were on it.

Riddell said one other call to the Report All Poachers and Polluters tip line about the bear indicated its paws had been removed, which would have constituted an offense and required an investigation, but the photo and videos refuted that claim.

bearsWildlife

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

Just Posted

Alf Todd on a mission to fight Parkinson’s disease

Todd and group hope to raise $10,000 riding bikes to Port Alberni

Cowichan residents can Climb for Alzheimer’s in their own backyard

for the first time ever, open to anyone, anywhere in the province

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Addition pending to Cape Scott Provincial Park?

BC Parks will wait before announcing plans for nearly $1 million old growth land purchase

Frustration mounts as Metchosin sheep slaughter continues

Metchosin mayor upset with B.C. Conservation’s response as bear feeds on farm animals

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help B.C. boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

Most Read