With one aggressive bear dead and three more black bears relocated, conservation officers are confident the worst has passed for the Adams Lake Indian Band.
From this point on, Darcy MacPhee, an acting inspector for the conservation service, said any action by COs will be based on the number of bears that continue to surface in the community
"We're starting to scale back a bit," said MacPhee.
MacPhee and his COs returned to the community of about 350 First Nations near Chase on Thursday morning.
A large, agitated bear was caught in a trap on the edge of the village. MacPhee said there was a lot of garbage found in the bear's droppings and it behaved in an aggressive manner toward the COs.
"We are very confident that this is one of the problem bears described by the band members," said MacPhee.
The bear was shot and killed, he said.
Members of the Adams Lake band asked to keep the bear for societal purposes. MacPhee said the band considers the bear a sacred animal and will make use of the fat, hide and other body parts.
"They were pretty interested in keeping it and there was talk of some type of ceremony," he said. "I didn't pry. It's their business, but I was pleased they were able to utilize the animal."
An official with the Adams Lake Indian Band could not be reached for comment.
A sow and two cubs were nabbed earlier in the day. The animals were found in the same apple tree a mother and cub were tranquilized in earlier this week.
All three bears were docile and there was no evidence that they fed on garbage, said MacPhee.
The mom and a cub were darted and loaded into a cage. The third bear fell asleep in the tree and was carried into a pen by a CO.
All three were ear tagged, taken into the upper Adams Lake region and released.
With five bears captured and one killed, MacPhee believes the worst has passed for Adams Lake. A dozen bears had made themselves at home in the community for the last three weeks, feeding on apple and garbage.
There might be two more aggressive bears left, said MacPhee. COs will return if these bears make an appearance.
As for relocating the bears, MacPhee said the conservation service doesn't consider this the best outcome. Moving the bears into unfamiliar territory so close to hibernation can be risky for them.