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bear kits brief

The International Fund for Animal Welfare has donated 25 aversive conditioning kits to the Whistler Jennifer Jones Whistler Bear Foundation for distribution to police and conservation officers throughout the province. The kits contain pyrotechnics, rubber bullets, pepper spray and other materials designed to frighten bears from populated areas without doing them harm. The donation will more than double the number of kits in use in B.C. The bear kits were used in Whistler throughout last year and on Jan. 5 the Ministry of Environment endorsed the non-lethal kits as a way of dealing with bears in populated areas. According to an IFAW release, the donation is an attempt to reduce the number of "problem bears" killed in B.C. The IFAW said almost 1,700 bears were put down in 1998. Five kits will go to Surrey, two more go to the Squamish District, four to Chilliwack, two to North Vancouver with the remaining kits distributed to officials in the province as requested.