The yellow Bear in Area lawn signs signs are out and can be seen throughout the community.

WILD WISE SOOKE: Black bears on the prowl

A recent rash of sightings suggests that the bears are back and heading to Sooke

  • Jun. 2, 2016 8:00 a.m.

By Debbie Read

A recent rash of sightings suggests that the bears are back and heading to Sooke and adding garbage to their diet.

The yellow Bear in Area signs are out and can be seen throughout the community.

Wild Wise Sooke is reminding people to take simple precautions to prevent attracting black bears as they come out of the hills.

Black bears are searching for alternate food sources, such as garbage, bird feed, and chickens. Manage these attractions as they are drawing bears to the community.

Two years ago Wild Wise Sooke, with the help of the EMCS Youth Council students, canvassed more than 600 homes in Sunriver, reminding residents to store garbage in a secure building and manage attractions like birdseed, pet food, greasy barbecues and compost.

After the canvass, the community was proactive in managing attractions. The bear sightings in the area decreased by 90 per cent.

This showed and proved that when attractions are not present the bears are not interested in the community.

This week, we have had many complaints of bears in garbage in the Sunriver area.

Please remember Sunriver is a local hotspot for bears as forests and hills surround it. Sunriver residents need to be diligent in keeping garbage in a secure building. This will keep the bears in the forest and out of the neighbourhood.

Please respect wildlife by following the attraction management plan.

Wild Wise Sooke warns that “feeding wildlife garbage, misplaced conceptions, perceptions, misinformation and interaction” regarding wild animals can directly contribute to their death. Interference by people can change wildlife’s behaviour causing wildlife to react unnaturally to their environment.

Be Bear Wise – keeping our community safe and wildlife wild.

•••

Debbie Read is with Wild Wise Sooke. For more info on the group go online to wildwisesooke.com or visit the facebook page: wildwisesooke.

 

Recent sighting

• Bear injured livestock: Calvert Road.

• Bears in Garbage: 2500 to 3500 block of Otter Point Road; Philips Road; Pasco Road; Quartz Drive; Sunriver Estates; Cedarview Place, Woodlands Road, Willow Park Way and Driftwood Drive.

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