Warning, some of the content within this article may be disturbing to some readers. (Black Press)

‘Just carnage’: Bears break-in and massacre chickens in South Okanagan

The bears have reportedly been hanging around near Penticton for a couple weeks

A pair of bears left behind a scene of carnage after an impromptu late-night meal in the Husula Highlands above Penticton on May 17.

The bears, a mother and her cub, were still inside the chicken coop when Matt Mongeau went outside to check on the noises his neighbours had been hearing.

The bears had broken in and tore into about 27 of the 55 chickens that Mongeau had been raising.

“There are broken wings and missing pieces. We’ll see how many survivors we have when I get home today,” said Mongeau.

Bears have passed through the area before, and for the last three years, Mongeau hasn’t had any trouble from them when it came to raising chickens or the occasional turkeys for meat.

“They come by and eat all the pears and fruit, that’s not usually an issue because you just pick it,” said Mongeau. “It’s not usually an issue for poultry or livestock.”

The bears have been in the area and unlike previous years haven’t moved on like they usually do. Instead, they have been spotted for the last two weeks or so, he said.

Mongeau said that he had contacted the Fish and Wildlife Branch to give them a heads up on the situation.

In the future, he is thinking about installing burglar bars in order to avoid a repeat, with the bears having not only ripped out the screen, but pried the window out and open to get inside.

“I have game fencing all over, and the coop is completely encapsulated,” said Mongeau. “But they found a weak point.”

Although the lost birds have put Mongeau out around $400, his concern is more on what else they might do. He hopes that they decide to move on on their own.

“It’d be in their best interest,” Mongeau said. “The real issue is we have kids around and we don’t want them snatching up a kid.”

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Wildlife