This black bear was found walking through a yard above Saseenos last week. The B.C. Conservation Officer Service has received more than 50 bear calls so far this month from Sooke.

Bears on hunt for food

Black bears make their presence known in Sooke this year

With a record number of bear-related calls to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service this month, Sooke residents are a little spooked and on the defensive, but if they feel they’ve got it bad, Yogi’s got it a lot worse.

Let’s put it this way: if a bear becomes habituated to an urban environment due to easy access to garbage or human-sourced food, the bear is almost always guaranteed a sad and pointless death: either due to starvation, or by the hands of a less-than-riveted conservation officer who has no other choice but to put the bear down due to its imminent danger to the public.

Still, 50 calls since Sept. 1 shows otherwise, so are there more bears out there?

“Not necessarily,” said Debbie Read, coordinator of Wild Wise Sooke, adding 300 to 500 bear calls is common in Sooke.

What hasn’t been so common was the hot and dry summer, which, as Read said, has disrupted the rhythm of how bears feed themselves.

“We had a very warm summer, so berries and skunk cabbages ripened early this year, which gave them [the bears] plenty of food up in the hills, but when everything started drying up and that food source was depleted, then they started coming down here,” she said.

And since fruit trees are still ripening and berries are plentiful in town, Sooke has become an interesting food hot spot. If you add some garbage, it serves as a huge attractant for bears, then you got yourself an all-star bear buffet.

Grant Road and Maple Avenue areas in particular have become favourite hangouts for bears, including the park behind the Thrift Store which once served as natural corridor for these animals.

“People are seeing two or three bears at a time, so what we’re trying to do is get the word out to people so they can better manage their attractions,” Read said, adding that in the last week alone there have been three car accidents in Sooke involving bears.

“We’ve got to clean up our garbage, we need to clean up our fruit, we have to get rid of these attractions, otherwise they’ll just keep coming back and simply won’t want to leave,” she said.

Conservation officer Rick Dekelder added bears have no interest in messing around in people’s yards, other than food.

“Bears are opportunistic creatures, so if they come into an area, they are looking for food, but if they have to work at something, then that kind of forces it to do what they do, which is look someplace else for a more natural source of food,” he said.

Just recently, conservation officers set up a bear trap across the street from Vienna Bakery due to a large bear who moved into the area due to easy access to fruit trees and garbage.

Those interested to learn more about Wild Wise Sooke, please visit wildwisesooke.com or visit the Wild Wise Sooke Facebook page. Those with information or questions can also email Debbie Read at: wildwisesooke@gmail.com

news@sookenewsmirror.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

$11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

The project has been delayed multiple times and is now estimating a budget of $96 million

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

Council pursues water line extension for north Sooke

Properties affected by Highway 14 project may see water service

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail re-opens after lengthy repairs

The trail has been closed since February

Langford considers regulating sale of spray paint following string of vandalism

Regulations could involve restricting sale to minors, locking up spray paint

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

Most Read