Colwood residents report rise in bear sightings

Several bears spotted in recent days on the West Shore

Rick Stiebel/News staff

Frequent bear sightings in little more than a week have a Colwood resident concerned about the safety of children and pets in the area.

Coleman Place resident Darcy Ross said he has seen bears, at least two on a couple of occasions, on Dec. 8, 9, 15 and 17 in his neighbourhood. A neighbour told him she has seen two bear cubs nearby in Latoria Creek Park, and they have been spotted in the Triangle Mountain area as well.

RELATED: Greater Victoria not out of the woods when it comes to bear safety

“We have a lot of young kids and animals in the neighbourhood,” he said. “I’d like to see signage at least notifying people there’s bears in the area.”

He also wants to remind people to keep garbage and other attractants in the garage or where they can’t be accessed by the bears. People who put their garbage out Sunday evening for Monday pickup awoke to find the cans overturned and garbage strewn around.

READ ALSO: B.C. man’s polite encounter with bears praised for being ‘so Canadian’ (video)

Ross has spoken to BC Wildlife officers in Chemainus, who said they are aware of the situation, and to keep reporting sightings as they occur. Colwood bylaw officers said there is nothing they can do, and they can’t provide signs at this point. A spokesperson for the city confirmed sightings in the area of Latoria Creek, and noted Colwood is fortunate to have connections to nature such as Royal Roads, Havenwood Park and Latoria Creek Park, which means bears occasionally wander through. People who encounter bears should stay calm and move away slowly. Ensure garbage bins are clean and secure, clean barbecue grills, harvest any fruit, berries or vegetables on your property and remove bird feeders containing nuts or suet.

Ross recommends everyone visit wildsafebc.com for information on dealing with bears.


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rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

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