Black bears will be the centre of attraction at the first-ever Sooke Bear Day.

Wild Wise hosting Sooke Bear Day

Wild Wise coordinator Debbie Read and conservation officers will present talks and field questions.

Sooke is one of Western Canada’s leading black bear hot spots.

Continuing its education campaign as a new season heats up, Wild Wise Sooke is presenting the first Sooke Bear Day at SEAPARC Leisure Complex on Sunday (May 15), from noon to 3 p.m.

Wild Wise coordinator Debbie Read and conservation officers will present talks and field questions. Displays, children-friendly activities and information on bear-smart strategies for homeowners is also planned.

Food and drink will be available from the Sooke Harbourside Lions.

Read will kick things off at noon with the first of her three discussions about how residents can best ensure that black bears stay wild and Sooke neighbourhoods safe.

Poor household garbage storage is by far the top reason bears stop their traditional foraging routines and instead seek tastier, quick-fix calorie boosts from trash cans, compost bins, pet-food storage, birdfeeders and barbecues, Read said.

Conservation officers will step up from 1 to 2 p.m. to offer insights into the challenging realities of life on the front lines of wildlife management.

Talking points will include the roles and responsibilities of conservation officers; popular misconceptions about wildlife in Sooke; how and when to report bear and cougar sightings through the RAPP line; local and provincial laws and procedures for wildlife conflicts; safety tips when confronted with wild animals; and the complicated, emotionally charged process of dealing with fully habituated problem bears.

For more information, please go online to wildwisesooke.com or Facebook at facebook.com/wildwisesooke.