The saga of Homer the Grizzly Bear

About five years ago, I wrote a feature story about Homer, a grizzly bear who, despite his chicken-stealing ways, was protected by the people of Seton-Shalalth and Gold Bridge-Bralorne. They did not want to see Homer, a healthy young male, put down as a garbage bear.

Unfortunately, he transgressed once too often and the Ministry of the Environment made plans to kill Homer, who could not successfully be relocated. Not long after, I heard that Homer had been killed.

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Flash forward to this year's Salmon in the Canyon Festival and a display booth about grizzly bears in the Lillooet area. To my surprise, it seems the reports of Homer's demise were greatly exaggerated.

I was told a conservation officer had Homer in his sights, he pulled the trigger andblasted to smithereens Homer's brand new, one-week-old, $10,000 radio transmitter collar. Homer got away.

Nothing was heard from him for the longest time, but this spring DNA fur evidence indicated Homer had surfaced again. There are even reports of him being sighted in the Bridge River Valley. It's good to know Homer is still alive. Too bad about that collar, though

Speaking of Salmon in the Canyon, Ken Oakes filmed a video that day and he's posted it on YouTube. You can check it out at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edAUYo-wfxk

And while I'm mentioning the local wildlife, how about those bull snakes?

No, Glen Rackow, you are not alone in seeing bull snakes this year. After we reported on Glen's sightings, I heard from people on Columbia Street and Texas Creek Road about multiple sightings in their areas. They all said the same thing - "We've never seen them before. They're not shy - they're lying on the roads, on a patio at a grad party, etc. etc."

I did try to track down information on why the snakes seem to be so prevalent this year. I emailed inquiries to the media contacts/snake experts at both TRU and UBC, but never had replies. Gee, you'd think they were on summer holidays or something

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