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

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

Just Posted

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Easter is on Sunday, April 4, 2021. How much do you know about Easter history and traditions? (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz about Easter and its traditions

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Most Read