Bears will try to feed in compost bins and digesters if not properly secured.

Bears will try to feed in compost bins and digesters if not properly secured.

Bear Buzz: Wild Wise Sooke lets you know where the bears are

An educational column on how to avoid bear and human conflicts

It’s the time of year when bears are moving through our community.

Bears that are not lingering and interacting with our property and us have not yet been habituated to humans, and do not let humans get too close to them.

Bears that start using human-provided foods can become food-conditioned. When bears quit moving through the community and start using the community as a foraging area for human-provided foods then conflicts develop.

We create so many attractants and opportunities for wildlife to become habituated and  into conflict with us. A general approach to wildlife conflicts where you live is to go over in your mind: Is there something that is bringing the wildlife into my living space?

Sooke June Bear conflicts:

Bears have been  reported attracted by garbage stored outdoors on Ludlow Road, Sooke River Road, Kirby Road, Helgensen Road, Throup Road.

Bears reported attracted by chickens on Sooke River Road, Kirby Road, Farmer Road, Otter Point Road.

Bears reported in compost and digesters on Ayum Road, Otter Point Road.

Keep bears from becoming food-conditioned and from becoming human habituated.

Please learn these ways you can keep your neighbourhood safe and share the following with your neighbours:

• Store garbage in a secure building until collection day, Use bird feeders only in the winter, Feed pets indoors, clean barbeques after use by burning off the grill entirely

• Use electric fencing to protect chickens and livestock, keep feed secured indoors or in bear resistant containers.

• Store freezers indoors if possible. If left outside, clean outside of freezer after every use to remove food residue.

• Food smokers and the preparation and curing of wild meat can be an attractant – consider using electric fencing.

• Store petroleum products in a secure enclosure.

• Never leave a cooler outside unless it has been thoroughly cleaned.

• Vegetable gardens may become an attractant if a bear has already gained other food rewards on your property. Consider electric fencing.

• The key to a healthy compost is ensuring equal amounts of brown and green materials. Layer your greens, such as kitchen scraps and fresh grass clippings with no more than 10 cm of browns, such as dried leaves, grasses, shredded newspaper and cardboard. Avoid adding cereals or grains. Do not add fish, meat, fat, oils, un-rinsed eggshells, or any cooked food. Freeze these until collection day.

To change the behavior of bears, we must first change our own. Don’t wait until you have a problem to do something about it. It is our responsibility if we choose to live in bear country to learn how to live with bears.

“We can all “keep wildlife wild and our community safe.”

Debbie Read – Wild Wise Sooke Community Coordinator

wildwisesooke@gmail.com

Report human-bear conflicts to the Conservation Officer Service’s toll-free RAPP line (1-877-952-7277).

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

Just Posted

Sooke Road was down to single lane alternating traffic after a motor vehicle incident Wednesday morning. (Google Maps)
UPDATED: Sooke Road reopen after motor vehicle incident

Emergency crews were on scene of Wednesday morning incident

David Wighton is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the winner of the Coaches Award. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Life-changing lessons shared after 55-year coaching career

David Wighton is the 2021 recipient of the Local Hero Coaches Award

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Two groups in the Port Renfrew area will receive more than $1.2 million in provincial government funding. (File photo)
Province funds new economic projects in Port Renfrew

Recovery grants support jobs in rural communities

Claremont Secondary students Georgina Love, left, and Caelan Veenstra will play Scaramouche and Galileo Figaro during the school’s virtual production of We Will Rock You from March 3 to 6. (Photo courtesy of Laura-Jane Wallace)
The show goes on virtually for Claremont’s annual musical

The musical theatre class will perform for a virtual audience from March 3 to 6

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after a news conference at the legislature in Victoria on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. reports 559 new cases of COVID-19, one death

4,677 cases of the virus remain active in the province; 238 people are in hospital

Vancouver Canucks left wing Antoine Roussel (26) tries to get a shot past Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks cough up 3-0 lead, fall 4-3 to visiting Edmonton Oilers

Vancouver falls to 8-13-2 on the NHL season

Jessica McCallum-Miller receives her signed oath of office from city chief administrative officer Heather Avison on Nov. 5, 2018 after being elected to Terrace City Council. McCallum-Miller resigned on Feb. 22, 2021, saying she felt unsupported and unheard by council. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace’s 1st Indigenous councillor resigns citing ‘systemic and internalized racism,’ sexism

McCallum-Miller said in a Facebook post she felt unheard and unsupported by council

Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31.	(Pixabay photo)
Pubs, restaurants to pay wholesale prices on liquor permanently in COVID-recovery

Pre-pandemic, restaurateurs and tourism operators paid full retail price on most liquor purchases

Wade Dyck with Luna, a dog who went missing near the Chasm for 17 days following a rollover on Feb. 5. (Photo submitted).
Dog missing for 17 days through cold snap reunited with owner in northern B.C.

Family ecstatic to have the Pyrenees-Shepherd cross back home.

Quesnel RCMP confirmed they are investigating a residential break-in at a home on the Barkerville Highway. (File image)
Thieves make off with $300K in Cariboo miner’s retirement gold

Tim Klemen is offering a reward for the return of his gold

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Tribes COVID-19 death count hits four

Second doses of Pfizer vaccine expected on March 8 as community count hits 230 since Dec. 31

Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire. Image: The Canadian Press
Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell makes third attempt at bail on sex charges

Maxwell claims she will renounce her U.K. and French citizenships if freed

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Feds agree people with mental illness should have access to MAID — in 2 years

This is one of a number of changes to Bill C-7 proposed by the government

Most Read