05/25/2013 07:00 EDT | Updated 07/25/2013 05:12 EDT

Black bear breaks into North Vancouver chicken coop

Residents in a North Vancouver neighbourhood had a surprise visitor Saturday morning when a black bear broke into a backyard chicken coop.

The one-and-a-half-year-old bear managed to eat two out of four chickens in the coop, located behind a home near St. Davids Avenue and 7th St. East.

The bear scrambled up a nearby fir tree after police pepper sprayed it.

B.C. conservation officer Jack Trudgian said the bear has climbed too high to tranquilize, and the best thing is to leave it alone for now and let it find its own way home.

"His eyes are probably really sore so right now this is the safest and best place for him to start feeling a little better," Trudgian explained.

"I bet you when it gets darker and he won't see people around, he'll come down off the tree and hopefully head back to where he was living before, which is probably the ravine eastbound of here."

Because bear sightings are common in North Vancouver, Trudgian says it is important that residents secure animals or other food sources that may attract bears to their homes or risk being fined $230.

"They have to make a cage or some kind of containment so that the bear doesn't have access to them," he said. "Once that bear gets there and realizes it doesn't have access to the chickens or any other type food sources, he will leave."

Trudgian said bears are able to smell food sources as far away as five kilometres, and while the area is now safe, residents should remember to secure their garbage and other food sources.

"Ravines allow the bears to come down off the mountains," he said, " and it is a safe travel corridor [so] they don't get hit by cars."

"But the problem is, they get so far into the city with the ravines [that] they pop up and people see them, and at times they an be little confused and not too sure where they're at."