Complaints of ‘nuisance bears’ down so far this year in Sooke

Experts urge residents to be bear aware

(Province of B.C. graphic)

It’s the time of year when bears are most hungry as they try to fatten up before they hibernate.

But now it’s more important than ever to be vigilant about keeping bear attractions at bay, said conservation officer Sgt. Scott Norris.

The B.C. Conservation Service has investigated 60 bear complaints in Sooke since April 1, with two animals euthanized. Those numbers are down substantially from the previous year when conservation officers received 202 complaints.

“With 60 calls this year, it’s not high, but it’s hard to say what will happen in the next three months,” Norris told Sooke district council Tuesday.

“Bears are trying to fatten up, looking for food before they hibernate; fish aren’t in yet, berries are starting to fail – but everybody’s fruit in the backyard is riping up.”

RELATED: Momma bear spotted with cubs in backyard

Norris gave credit to WildWise Sooke and the district for their proactive approach to human-wildlife conflict and conservation.

Norris said last month there was a decrease in nuisance bear reports, with no reports of bears getting into garbage.

The District of Sooke is proactive in its approach to wildlife with the recent commissioning of a Royal Roads University bear hazard assessment, bear-proof garbage containers, and annual funding of Wild Wise Sooke.

Coun. Jeff Bateman acknowledged the success of the program to date. Still, he wondered if the community would benefit more from the Bear Smart Community initiative, sponsored by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

The Bear Smart Community program is voluntary on the part of the community. It acknowledges that each community is unique in the conflicts that occur and the opportunities that exist to reduce those conflicts, and includes participation from provincial and municipal governments and residents.

Bateman asked if Sooke should become a Bear Smart Community.

“I think it’s a fantastic initiative for Sooke. I’d welcome it,” Norris said.

“The more notoriety and more education we can get to highlight this with residents, the fewer bears we’re going to have to euthanize down the road,” he said.

Council agreed to add bear-human conflict strategies in a review of the official community plan, which could lead to involvement with Bear Smart.

Several communities in B.C. are members of Bear Smart, including Port Hardy, Port Alberni, New Denver, Squamish, Whistler, Naramata, Kamloops, Coquitlam and Lions Bay.

”The key is working together to try and find ways to solve these problems,” Norris said.

“We have to be smart about how we operate when we’re living in bear country.”



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

SookeWildlifewildlife enforcement

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(Province of B.C. graphic)

Just Posted

Oak Bay couple honoured for 35 years volunteering

Mayor awards distinguished Oak Leaf to Bert and Doris Dinsmore

Meet the Liberal candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Roxanne Helme about ‘governance, not politics’

Hospital foundation president praises generosity of Peninsula residents

Karen Morgan said support during COVID-19, financial and otherwise, has been touching

New Democrats on Saanich Peninsula still looking to announce candidate

While BC Liberals have nominated Stephen Roberts, New Democrats have not yet announced candidate

UPDATED: West Shore RCMP locate dangerous, ‘high-risk sex offender’ thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read