KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A black bear that feasted on human remains it found on a remote road south of Kamloops, B.C., is now the target of conservation officers.
RCMP Staff. Sgt. Grant Learned said hunters discovered the remains after coming across an abandoned Volkswagen Jetta on a forest road.
He said it's believed the bear found the decomposing body inside the vehicle and dragged it out an open window. The bear ate some of the body and buried the rest under some dirt.
Learned said investigators believe the man had died either by accidentally or suicide.
"Right now we can't confirm (the cause of death) until we have more information following any medical tests or examination that can be done," he said. "But the investigators have not found any suggestion that leads them to believe foul play was involved."
Regional Coroner Mark Coleman agreed that the death did not appear suspicious.
"The individual was already deceased in or around his vehicle and that the bear involvement only occurred after his death," he said.
Environment Minister Terry Lake said while the bear didn't kill the man, conservation officers have been ordered to track it down and kill it to ensure public safety.
"This is very natural behaviour for a bear but unfortunately we simply don't want to take any chances with human safety, " he said. "The bear is obviously in the area, has been feeding on human remains. We don't want anyone to be in any kind of danger."
Officials are working on identifying the man and notifying his next of kin.