The collage of photos show where a bear found food in a outdoor freezer.

Bears are out of hibernation, time to be aware

Garbage and freezers full of food attract hungry bears

It was bound to happen. One story of food stolen from a freezer would inevitably lead to other similar calls.

Tammy Thomson, who lives just off Whiffin Spit, called in to report a similar theft. Only, in this case, the culprit was a bear.

She and her roommate had a tarp-covered freezer on their porch. On the morning of April 17, they awoke to discover the tarp was “pulled off no problem” and the contents spilled overnight. There were signs that someone (or something) enjoyed an early breakfast of (frozen) waffles, bacon, mixed berries, and some other goodies. The meal was consumed by the culprit near their picnic table in the backyard.

Looking back, Thomson recalled hearing a “sound like a brick wall falling down” in the fog of sleep, shortly after she had fallen asleep.

It must have been the bear.

Thomson and her                                                                                                                      roommate figure the bear came by at around 10:30 the night before, and raided the tarp-covered freezer.

“He even took the food to the picnic table,” details Thomson, “… and had a nice feast!” Grass compressions near the backyard picnic table, along with the scattered packaging remnants, verify the bear’s taste for fine table dining. “Maybe tonight I should leave him a nice checkered table cloth and maybe  some candle light,” Thomson joked.

A call to the conservation office revealed that there were reports of a garbage bear in the area last year.

Thus, we at the Sooke News Mirror find it very timely to remind our readership that we live in bear country, and it’s best to store all food and food-like items behind locked doors. Their sense of smell is incredible, and post-hibernation they are hungry little (or big) critters.

A fed bear is a dead bear.

For more information on bears in our community — and how to co-exist with them to the benefit of both parties — visit http://www.bearaware.bc.ca/

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