Letters: Unexpected visitors are a worry

Bears will go anywhere to find food, including in your backyard

I know from time to time you print stories about local animal sightings so I thought I’d pass this on. We have spoken to some of our neighbours and the conservation office.

Last night there was a bear on the dead end portion of Helgesen Road across from the farm.  It was seen going through a garbage can down the road and then scared away by the owners.  It then ran our way.  Although I only heard it and didn’t actually see it there were a few things left behind that leave no doubt that it paid a visit. It wouldn’t have found any food here because we don’t have any garbage, plants or food in our backyard but it broke through the latticing at the top of our fence, left these claw marks and left a large ‘pile’ in our yard which I caught my dogs feasting on!

The important point that I wish to share is that I thought since our backyard is completely enclosed (including a completely fenced in balcony area) I wouldn’t have to worry too much about bears.  I never thought they would bother trying to come in because where would they go.  This bear dropped about 6 feet into our patio area, went up our stairs to our raised backyard, left his ‘pile’ and then found a way out thankfully without breaking anymore of our fence.

I am already very cautious because of previous sightings of both cougar and bear but I had no idea it would venture in even when there was no food.  I think when the neighbour scared it away from their garbage cans it just high tailed it wherever it could go and once it was far enough away from there then it took a moment to relieve itself in our yard.  So even if you don’t have anything to eat outside, your neighbours may, so you should still be bear aware.

Shannon Rempel

Sooke