The Tranquility Gardens cemetery wasn’t so tranquil on Aug. 9, as a family of bears invaded and damaged several memorial trees in the cemetery.
Ken Zacharias, who owns Clayton’s Funeral Directors, said the bears were attracted by trees with berries.
“They’ve kind of made a mess out there,” he said.
Most of the damaged trees only needed a heavy pruning, but Zacharias said some need a bit more care.
The Traquility Gardens is a cemetery created by Clayton’s as an alternative to a traditional cemetery.
“With soft music playing in the background you can visit your loved ones here at Tranquility Gardens while surrounded by trees and flowers. You can stroll the lawns or restfully contemplate life and memories near the water fountain,” their website reads.
One of the options in the gardens is a memorial tree, and a few of them were damaged by the hungry bears.
“Like all trees out there, that families have purchased in memory of their loved one, if they’re too damaged or destroyed, then we’ll replace them with a tree of the same species,” Zacharias said. “There’s two out there that are family trees that did take a bunch of damage, but I think they will weather the storm. It all depends on how many times they come back.”
Zacharias said there wasn’t much they could do to prevent further damage, as fencing off the gardens would ruin the appeal.
“It seems like the bears are bad everywhere this year. We’ve got bears up by our house, we’ve got bears in our neighbourhood, we’ve got bears three, four blocks over,” he said. “They just seem to be moving into town this year for some reason.”
Any visitors to the gardens should be aware that there could be bears in the area, and be sure to keep safe as they walk.
“There was a lot of scat around the garden, so they had been hanging around there for a while,” Zacharias said. “We don’t know if it was really early morning or the middle of the night. People come visit the gardens at all hours.”
The BC Conservation Officer Service ask people to report aggressive bear to their officer service line (1-877-952-7277).
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