A local woman says something has to be done after witnessing a bear carcass being dumped at the Mission landfill site.

Woman traumatized after seeing bear carcass disposed of at B.C. landfill

WARNING: Story contains an image that may be disturbing to some readers

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that may upset readers. Discretion is advised.

Breanna Kettlewell says she was traumatized last week at the Mission landfill after watching a dead bear being dumped.

She was at the landfill site on May 2 to drop off a load of refuse.

“As I’m pulling in, I saw the conservation officers pulling in with a trailer on the back. So I watched them and they go and dump a baby cub into a pile of landfill. It was really upsetting to see,” Kettlewell said.

She said she decided to “keep my eyes and ears open” when she went back to the site on Monday, May 6.

“Lo and behold, what did I see? Another baby cub being dumped.”

The dumping did not take place at the front portion of the site, where most members of the public drop off their waste; rather, it was at the face of the landfill at the back of the site.

“Obviously, I want fewer bears being shot, for one. I want to know why these bears were killed in the first place. I mean, they’re cubs.”

Kettlewell said she hasn’t heard about any bear attacks in the area and has yet to hear back from any conservation officers.

She also said if – “and that’s a big if”– a bear has to be killed, its remains should be reused, either left for other animals to feed on or for cultural purposes.

READ MORE: Bear just wants to have fun

READ MORE: Is that Yogi Bear? Couple leaves picnic on B.C. beach as uninvited bear moves in

“But mainly my goal is that fewer bears should be killed.”

When contacted, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service released this statement to The Mission Record.

“Human-wildlife interaction is an ongoing public safety issue in communities throughout the Lower Mainland, especially in the spring and summer months.

“In the unfortunate event when an animal must be euthanized, the Conservation Officer Service (COS) works to ensure proper disposal of the body.

“In more remote locations, COS officers seek ways to dispose of the animal in the natural environment. In cases where this is not an option, such as those close to urban areas, often the only option is to transport it to landfill.

“In those cases, COS staff make efforts to ensure landfill operators dispose of the animal where it is not accessible to view.

“In this case, the bear in question was a high conflict animal which had recently entered a house in Maple Ridge. The bear was tranquilized and euthanized by conservation officers, as it was a threat to public safety and not a candidate for relocation.

“The COS brought the bear carcass to the landfill for burial. The photo was taken prior to the bear being buried. Conservation officers will continue to make efforts to ensure landfill operators dispose of the animal where it is not accessible to view.”

Barry Azevedo, the District of Mission’s manager of environmental services, said conservation officers have been bringing animal carcasses to the landfill for some time.

“They have to dispose of the carcasses somewhere. It could be road kill or other things,” he said.

The landfill actually accepts many dead animals at the sites, including horses, dogs, cats and more. Only cows are not accepted due to a high risk of disease.

Azevedo said the public doesn’t normally see the carcasses.

“Most people don’t actually go to the actual active face of the landfill. It’s only when you are disposing of something particularly bulky. Most residents drop things off at the garbage dropoff area by the scale house.”

Commercial businesses often go directly to the active landfill site, as do the conservation officers.

“That’s where the conservation officers come. They put it right at the landfill face, and it gets buried in a short period of time. Things are constantly being covered with soil at the landfill.”

However, Kettlewell said it isn’t hard to see the main landfill from the normal dropoff area.

“Where people usually dump the small stuff, you can just look right over the ledge and see the huge landfill,” she said.

“I just want something changed. It’s not right.”

Azevedo said people have an ability to help with the situation.

“A lot of bears get shot because they become nuisance bears and it’s because people aren’t managing their garbage or their fruit trees. They aren’t following proper bear-safe practices and if people did that, fewer bears would be shot,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

 

Just Posted

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

NAV CANDA is considering closing its station at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada considering closing station at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization is conducting a service review at Castlegar’s airport

Internet service in the West Kootenay is improving thanks to provincial government grants. File photo
COVID-19 support program brings faster internet to rural communities

The province has provided grants to local internet providers

First responders at a crash scene near Rossland on Thursday, Oct. 22. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in West Kootenay causes vehicle collisions

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Most Read