Mama Bear, Cub, Destroyed at Alice Lake Campground in Squamish

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Aug. 14, 2012

Conservation officer were forced to kill a mama bear and her cub because some campers at Alice Lake Campground failed to secure bear attractants yet again.

“It’s very frustrating that people are not getting the message about properly ensuring attractants,” said Sgt. Peter Busink.

The sow and the cub had been active in the campground for the past three weeks, Busink said.

The sow had entered an RV trailer and caused property damage in the past few weeks.

Looking for food, it rubbed against tents at night and ultimately became a public safety risk too high to ignore.  

Early this morning, both the sow and the cub were back again looking for food.

The sow was destroyed, but the cub was tranquilized.

It was to be taken to the Critter Care Rehabilitation Centre in Langley.  However, the cub did not survive the immobilization process.  

Busink said the cub’s death was rare, but not unheard of when it comes to tranquilizing small bears.

Busink said unattended food and other bear attractants left behind by some campers attracted the continued presence of both bears.

To deter the behaviour, conservation officer issued three violation tickets in the past one week, but to no avail.

“Over 1000 campers were provided an extraordinary amount of information regarding securing attractants against bears,” Busink said.

The COS is again reminding campers to ensure they properly secure their attractants and that coolers are not bear proof.  

Reports of human wildlife conflict can be made through the RAPP line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-877-952-7277.

This year, conservation officers have had to destroy six bears in the Squamish area.


  1. Annette Hernandez says:

    when will humans learn that this is there domain…it’s only ours to enjoy ….shame on you, you careless campers…these campers who obviously would have had to leave their names should have a lifetime ban @ Alice Lake because of their carelessness

  2. Squamish says:

    Can’t camp responsibly?

    Makes me so angry when I ready these kinds of stories. Such stupidity in people.

  3. Penny says:

    This disgusts me! Shame on all you people who put these bears in harms way because of your lazy, selfish, unthinking, uncaring ways.

  4. Dave says:

    We need larger fines for violations before the events and food caches similar to those at parks like Bowron Lakes ( for those who do not have suitable vehicle lock-ups). Each site should be inspected in the evening for any infringments and then tickets issued. Show a few gory pictures of bear attacks and dead bear cubs!

  5. Donald says:

    Why did the cub die?

    Was the dose too much , do these Cons. officers have any training in dosage because they are quoted as saying “death is not unheard of when tranquilizing small bears”.

  6. Glen Andersen says:

    Aside from all that, killing bears is wrong. If you are going to the expense of shipping a cub off to langley, why not chopper-lift both deep, deep into wilderness and leave them in a berry batch near a good fishing hole?

  7. Don Barthel says:

    Is Alice Lake our home or theirs? If bears become a ‘nuisance’ then instead of killing the bears, simply shutdown the campground. Its crazy to kill the bears.

  8. Don Patrick says:

    OK let me get this right, firstly we subsidize these camp sites so families can have a temporary tent life and experience the wilderness, then due to idiots we spend more millions on having the legal hunters come in and eliminate the wilderness part of the equation… does this make any sense at all ? Someone is going to have to think this program out… animals are not the problem.

  9. Leilani says:

    It always makes me sad to hear that our beautiful wild creatures are being destroyed because of human error. I would like to make the suggestion that BC Parks could invest in providing Alice Lake with bear-proof food storage containers like they have in Yosemite National Park. This might help the campers who are not bear-educated enough (or are too lazy) to store their food properly and would help to prevent more bears from being destroyed.

  10. Ina says:

    Has anyone been fined for leaving the attractants out? And are these CO a little too quick to shoot? Killing momma bear and a cub is just plain embarrassing. Stupid people.

  11. TCee says:

    Time to rename Squamish: ” The Bear-Killing Capital of Canada”! 12 plus bears killed this year alone. Quite unconscionable and unnecessary. How many of the idiots who caused these magnificent cretures to be killed were fined, or otherwise penalized? If fined, how much? Did they even get caught, and, if so, did they just get a tap on the wrist? All of the comments above are extremely valid, and show the passion so many of us have for our bears and wildlife. Why doesn’t Squamish Council do more to protect Squamish wildlife with strong, up-dated by-laws, including fines and penalties, for the jerks who strew around their garbage and other detritus? Why not spend some money on better bear-proof containers in our parks, including Alice Lake and the camp grounds, and better signs with penalty warnings? Those that exist are few, puny, and ill-kept. Does the Conservation Officer need re-training or even replacement with someone who has a different approach to wildlife? Does the Council need some in-depth training about the environment, the importance of it to the true sustainability of Squamish, and to its residents’ health and well-being, and about the value of maintaining a healthy biodiversity? Anything wild is slowly but surely being obliterated in and around Squamish, sad to say. The onslaught on the bears this year is just one example of what is happening, and what will happen to our wildlife. It’s time for drastic re-thinking about the role of all wildlife in our lives and in Squamish.

  12. Don Patrick says:

    Can not believe that this is the answer to a hungry animal… good thing I am getting old, or other things would take place… seems we have idiots on both sides of the fence.