Bears seeking food in backyards

Poor weather and lack of food cited as reason

  • Jul. 20, 2011 8:00 a.m.
The small bear cub was spotted by Phoebe Dunbar along West Coast Road.

The small bear cub was spotted by Phoebe Dunbar along West Coast Road.

Sooke resident Darla Banner’s father was having a barbecue at his house on Church Road when an uninvited guest showed up — a hungry black bear.

He saw the animal from about 10 feet away sniffing at the food when a neighbour’s dog ran over and “gave the bear a nip” that caused the black bear to raise its front legs before retreating.

A couple of days later, a neighbour witnessed a sow and her cubs in the yard, knocking over a part of the fence. Another neighbour on Talc Road saw a bear climbing into their yard as well, she said.

“Jesus, they can’t all be the same bear!”

Banner said she hears people spotting bears at Whiffin Spit on a daily basis, and that they’re addicted to garbage. In particular, by the Stone Ridge estates development on Beaton Road where bears are “getting garbage even though they’re putting it away.”

“I phoned to talk to the conservation officer on Wednesday, and have heard nothing back,” said Banner.

Conservation Officer Rick Dekelver confirmed that calls about bear sightings are up in Sooke over this same time last year, with an increase of about 50 incidents.

“It’s been busy,” said Dekelver, who speculated it could be due to increasing population and summer weather arriving later.

He insisted that the best thing to do in these situations is still to call the conservation hotline, (1-877-952-7277) even if it takes awhile to hear back from an officer.

“We have two of us for the lower Island from Renfrew to Cobble Hill, so this is happening not just in Sooke.”

Despite the limited resources, Dekelver said the call centre filters the messages received in priority sequence and officers will contact residents to work out a management plan.

Some residents have taken matters into their own hands — for instance, locals around the Stone Ridge area has been knocking door to door distributing brochures on things like how to minimize attractants.

“People bought into it and the garbage disappeared and I haven’t seen any reports of bears in the area, said Dekelver. “The bears (seem to be) going elsewhere to try to find food because there was nothing in the area they were acquiring.”

Just Posted

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

Colin Davidson won $100K on a Set for Life scratch ticket in Sooke. (BCLC photo)
Sooke man does ‘happy dance’ after scratching a $100,000 Set for Life win

Colin Davidson plans to renovate his home and invest in his daughter’s education

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read